I read this article this week about the lingering effects of fat stigma. It kind of was a downer. Basically the study showed women of identical height and weight, one that had lost 70 pounds of weight and another who was naturally thin. “Those who had been obese in the past were perceived as less attractive than those who had always been thin, despite having identical height and weight.”
“The findings, published May 29 in the journal Obesity, suggest that the stigma of obesity is so powerful that it can continue even after an obese person has lost weight.”
Sigh…I guess its good I’m doing this for myself and not to please someone else. I see that stigma exists with overweight individuals but I always assumed that stigma went away when the weight is lost. You think it would make someone more attractive not less? I don’t get it.
Oh well, at least everyone in my life is supportive and as far as a dating stigma, what can you do? If God wants me to be with someone He will make it work. I have not given up the hope that there is someone out there who will be more impressed by my journey not less so.
Still, human beings confuse me sometimes! Why do you think we have such stigma and why can’t we let go of such judgmental feelings?
Once-Obese Women Still Face Stigma, Study Finds
WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) — Even after they shed their excess pounds, formerly obese women still have to contend with “anti-fat prejudice,” according to a new study.
Researchers asked young women and men to read about women who had either lost 70 pounds of excess weight or had stayed the same weight (weight-stable), and who were either currently obese or currently thin.
The participants were then asked about some of the women’s attributes, including their attractiveness.
“We were surprised to find that currently thin women were viewed differently depending on their weight history,” study leader Janet Latner, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said in a news release from the University of Manchester, in England. “Those who had been obese in the past were perceived as less attractive than those who had always been thin, despite having identical height and weight.”
The participants also showed greater bias against obese people after they had read about women who had lost weight, compared to after reading about weight-stable women — regardless of whether the weight-stable women were thin or obese.
The findings, published May 29 in the journal Obesity, suggest that the stigma of obesity is so powerful that it can continue even after an obese person has lost weight.
The researchers said they were particularly troubled by the finding that participants’ negative attitudes towards obese people increased when they were falsely told that body weight is easily controlled.
“The message we often hear from society is that weight is highly controllable, but the best science in the obesity field at the moment suggests that one’s physiology and genetics, as well as the food environment, are the really big players in one’s weight status and weight loss,” study co-author Kerry O’Brien, from the University of Manchester School of Psychological Sciences and Monash University in Melbourne, in Australia, noted in the news release.
“Weight status actually appears rather uncontrollable, regardless of one’s willpower, knowledge and dedication. Yet many people who are perceived as ‘fat’ are struggling in vain to lose weight in order to escape this painful social stigma. We need to rethink our approaches to, and views of, weight and obesity,” O’Brien noted.