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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

The ironic (and surprising) effects of weight stigma

The ironic (and surprising) effects of weight stigma.

From the 8 January 2014 Science Daily article

If you’re one of the millions of people who count losing weight among their top New Year’s resolutions, you might want to pay careful attention to some new findings by UC Santa Barbara psychology professor Brenda Major.

It turns out that the weight-stigmatizing messages presented by the media — the ones that characterize overweight individuals as lazy, weak-willed, self-indulgent and contributing to rising health care costs — may be tipping the scales in the wrong direction. Designed to encourage weight loss, they may actually have the opposite effect.

According to Major’s research, which appears in the current online issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, when women who perceive themselves as overweight are exposed to weight-stigmatizing news articles, they are less able to control their eating afterward than are women who don’t perceive themselves that way.

 

Read the entire article here

 

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January 22, 2014 - Posted by | Psychology | , , , ,

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