Body Shaming Increases Health Risks
Body shaming—most commonly fat shaming—is an increasingly harmful form of prejudice. Body shaming often takes place online, as cyber bullying, and also occurs in schools, work places, and public areas. It can affect anyone, from everyday people to celebrities.
According to a new study, the painful, psychological effects of body shaming—being stereotyped as lazy, unattractive, incompetent, or to blame for body size—can increase stress and the risk for medical problems such as heart disease and metabolic diseases like diabetes. The study showed that people who feel ashamed of their size are less likely to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
The recent study confirmed earlier research demonstrating that body shaming and weight bias has a negative effect on both mental and physical health. It's important for health care providers, the media, and the public to know that blaming and shaming people with obesity is not an effective way to promote weight loss, and, in fact, the opposite is true.
Image Credit: Thinkstock