ObesityIt doesn’t help anyone to refer to obesity as a disease. Or at least that what a recent study shows.

Researchers at the University of Richmond and the University of Minnesota say referring to obesity as a disease only encourages people to eat more. As a result, obese people tend to eat more unhealthily.

“Considering that obesity is a crucial public health issue, a more nuanced understanding of the impact of an ‘obesity is a disease’ message has significant implications for patient-level and policy-level outcomes,” says psychologist Dr. Crystal Hoyt.

Dr. Hoyt and her colleagues recruited more than 700 participants to read either an article that described obesity as a disease; a standard public health message about weight; or an article specifically stating that obesity is not a disease. Then the participants were asked to answer a series of questions.

Participants who read the ‘obesity is a disease’ article placed less emphasis on dieting and tended to be less concerned about weight relative to the participants who read the other two articles. They also selected higher-calorie options when asked to pick a sandwich from a menu.

“Together, these findings suggest that the messages individuals hear about the nature of obesity have self-regulatory consequences,” says Dr. Hoyt.




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  • Me

    i knew this was coming. mostly b/c of the whole fat acceptance movement & people coming up w/a whole lotta reasons for why somebody could be fat & it not be their fault or that whole “i’m fat but i’m healthier than some skinny people”. the minute you tell somebody they have a disease, you make it not their fault & something they can’t control so then they quit trying altogether. you never hear ads for how to fix your cancer b/c you can’t control it. it’s a disease. you can just take medicine & keep living life like it’s just as good or better than before you found out. tell fat folks it’s a disease even though it’s something you can fix, & they act like it’s cancer outside of any control & like they not gonna live long enough to enjoy the stuff they used to eat before they found out.

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