'Fat shaming' leads to weight gains

A recent study from the University College London has revealed nearly 3,000 adults over four years who have stated that they had received some form of weight discrimination, put on more weight than those people who did not.

The researchers claim there is no evidence discrimination actually caused the weight gain, but it could lead to comfort eating.  In essence, making people feel ashamed about obesity could lead them to gain weight, not lose it.

Over the four-year period, on average, people in all weight groups who said they had experienced these negative attitudes put on nearly 1kg – just over 2lb.  Those who did not typically lost 0.7kg.

The researchers say this suggests that blaming and shaming people for being overweight is counter productive.

Instead they say it is better to be supportive and encouraging and that health professionals should be more supportive.

Healthy Performance conduct Onsite Health Checks and actively encourage organisations and employees to ‘know their health numbers’.  Body fat is often a core test within our health checks and we ensure that if weight is an issue for staff or companies as a whole then, it is tackled with sensitivity and positivity.  We see it as an essential part of our checks to deliver practical advice to assist people with making positive lifestyle changes regardless of the issue.

For further information on the weight discrimination study, please click on the BBC link here