comScore Survey Shows Fat Shamers May Cause Weight Gain | The Mary Sue

Survey Shows That Fat Shamers May Actually Be Causing the Weight Gain They Hate So Much

Today in unsurprisingly ironic news.


Since it looks like fat shamers need a reason to stop doing it other than they’re an adult and should know better, how about this: A new study shows that what people need isn’t less of whatever food fat shamers have decided would be most insulting to taunt them about—we really just need less fat shamers.

The weight gain data was pulled from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which takes a broad look at lifestyle and health of the UK population over the age of 50.

The primary objective of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) is to collect longitudinal multidisciplinary data from a representative sample of the English population aged 50 and older.

We collect both objective and subjective data relating to health and disability, biological markers of disease, economic circumstance, social participation, networks and well-being.

That data was then published as a separate paper in the journal Obesity that shows a correlation between people who have been shamed for their weight and weight gain. While the survey is too broad to be incontrovertible proof of direct causation between shaming and weight gain, those who reported that they felt they’d been shamed gained weight over the four years of the study while those who didn’t actually lose weight.

Dr. Jane Wardle, one of the authors on the study and professor of Clinical Psychology at University College London, wrote in UCL’s release:

Our study clearly shows that weight discrimination is part of the obesity problem and not the solution. Weight bias has been documented not only among the general public but also among health professionals; and many obese patients report being treated disrespectfully by doctors because of their weight. Everyone, including doctors, should stop blaming and shaming people for their weight and offer support, and where appropriate, treatment.

So try to keep this study in mind whenever you encounter fat shaming. Use the data presented in to suggest to people that their words are directly contributing to what they perceive as a problem; and if they really think someone’s weight is a problem, putting that person down is not a solution.

(via io9, image via Paul H)

Previously in ways not to treat other human beings

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.