You know all those disingenuous jerks who think it’s okay to make fat people feel like shit about their weight because it might just save their lives? While common sense has long told us that’s bullshit, now there’s a new study to prove that it is bullshit, with science.
According to a study published this week in the scientific journal PLoS ONE titled Perceived Weight Discrimination and Obesity, in addition to having negative consequences for one’s mental health, being discriminated against for one’s size has consequences for one’s physical health, as well. (Assuming you believe that obesity is a health problem.) To examine this issue, study author Angelina R. Sutton (a psychologist and assistant professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine) surveyed over 6,000 participants, about 58% of whom were female, about their experiences with weight discrimination over the course of four years, and found that non-obese participants who’d experienced discrimination were over 2.5 times more likely to become obese by the follow-up four years later. Meanwhile, the people who were already obese were three times as likely to still be obese four years later as those who reported no such discrimination. Her conclusion was this:
The present research demonstrates that, in addition to poorer mental health outcomes, weight discrimination has implications for obesity. Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity.
Do you hear that, concern trolls of the internet and the world at large? Each time you call a fat person lazy/ugly/gross, you might as well be cramming a Whopper down their throat. If you really want obese people to lose weight, you will treat them like human beings, because feeling like a human being makes someone more likely to care about their health and less likely to shame-eat a whole pizza. Who knew?
Images: Grape Nuts via HuffPost