Obesity ‘not caused by lack of willpower’

Obesity 'not caused by lack of willpower'

Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower'

Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower' Image copyright Getty Images

Obesity is not a selection and inducing people feel ashamed outcomes only in them feeling worse about themselves, a report by top psychologists says.

It calls for changes in language to reduce stigma, such as saying “a person with obesity” rather than an “obese person”.

And it says health professionals should be trained to talk about weight loss in a more supportive way.

A cancer charity’s recent advertising campaign was criticised for “fat shaming”.

Obesity levels rose by 18% in England between 2005 and 2017 and by similar amounts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This entails simply over one in four UK adults is obese while virtually two-thirds are overweight or obese.

But these increases cannot be explained by a sudden loss of motivation across the UK – it is a lot more complicated than that, according to the British Psychological Society report, which concludes it “is not simply down to an individual’s lack of willpower”.

Stress and trauma

“The people who are most likely to be an unhealthy weight are those who have a high genetic risk of developing obesity and whose lives are also shaped by work, school and social environments that promote overeating and inactivity, ” it says.

“People who live in deprived areas often experience high levels of stress, including major life challenges and trauma, often their neighborhoods offer few opportunities and incentives for physical activity and options for accessing affordable healthy food are limited.”

Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower' Image copyright Getty Images

Psychological experiences also play a big role, the report says, with up to half of adults attending specialist obesity services having experienced difficulties in childhood.

And stress caused by fat shaming – being made to feel bad about one’s weight – by public health campaigns, GPs, nurses and policymakers, often leads to increased eating and more weight gain.

Does fat shaming help people lose weight ? How I overcame fat-shaming Obesity ‘overtakes smoking for four cancers’ Is it wrong to be blunt about obesity ?

Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower'
Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower'
Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower'
Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower'
Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower'

Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower'

Obesity 'not Caused By Lack Of Willpower'

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