Family Criticizing your Weight? You Might Add More Pounds

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/05/29/overweight-women-experience-obesity-stigma-even-after-weight-loss-study-finds/

According to a recent study conducted by Professor Christine Logel from Renison University College at the University of Waterloo, women whose loved ones are critical of their weight tend to put on even more pounds.

The study conducted by Dr. Logel recently appeared in the December issue of the journal Personal Relationships. According to the research, "when we feel bad about our bodies, we often turn to loved ones -- families, friends and romantic partners -- for support and advice. How they respond can have a bigger effect than we might think,".

The study found that women who received a higher number of what the researchers called acceptance messages about their weight saw better weight maintenance and even weight loss than their counterparts who did not receive this positive messaging from their loved ones.

A team of social psychologists led by Dr. Logel asked to a group of univeristy-age women several questions, including their height and weight as well as how they felt about what they see on the scale. About five months later, they asked them if they had talked to their loved ones about their concerns, and if so, how they had responded. About three months after that, they tracked whether their weight and their concerns about it changed in that time.

Dr. Logel said that "On average, the women in the study were at the high end of Health Canada's BMI recommendations, so the healthiest thing is for them to maintain the weight they have and not be so hard on themselves". But, many of these women were still very concerned about how much they weigh, and most talked to their loved ones about it."

Overall, the women in the sample gained some weight over time, which is relatively normal for young adults. However, the interesting thing that the researchers noticed is that if the women got the message from their loved ones that they look fine, then they maintained or even lost a bit of weight. However, women who received few weight acceptance messages from their loved ones gained almost 4.5 pounds on average.

An important conclusion of this study appears to be that when women concerned about their weight heard that their loved ones accepted them as they are, then they felt better about their bodies, and subsequently they did not gain more wait like other women did. 

So, this study suggests that pressure from loved ones about weight loss is not helpful for women already concerned about their weight. In fact, it may actually have the opposite effect, causing women to wain some weight.

Source:

CHRISTINE LOGEL, DANU ANTHONY STINSON, GREGORY R. GUNN, JOANNE V. WOOD, JOHN G. HOLMES, JESSICA J. CAMERON. A little acceptance is good for your health: Interpersonal messages and weight change over time. Personal Relationships, 2014; 21 (4): 583 DOI:10.1111/pere.12050
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