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Obese Girls Don't Feel Better After Losing Weight

Obese Girls Don't Feel Better After Losing Weight

(ePharmaNews) - An obese teenage girl may think that if she gets rid of these extra kilograms and wears clothes that are a couple of sizes less than what she wears now, it will make her feel better and see herself prettier, but a new study suggests that obesity's psychological problems are more intense and may last even after losing weight.

In this study, which takes place in the current issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, the health and weight records of more than 2,000 black and white girls aged between 9 and 10 were followed for 10 years. The girls were separated into three groups; normal weight, former obese and chronically obese, based on their body mass trends during the 10-year period.
"We found that obese black and white teenage girls who transitioned out of obesity continued to see themselves as fat, despite changes in their relative body mass," said Sarah A. Mustillo, an associate professor of sociology who studies obesity in childhood and adolescence. "Further, obese white girls had lower self-esteem than their normal-weight peers and their self-esteem remained flat even as they transitioned out of obesity."
"If the current national movement to end childhood obesity is successful, we can anticipate many young people moving from obese into the normal weight range, which will result in better physical health," Mustillo said. "I wanted to know if the same thing would happen for psychological health. Girls often struggle with self-esteem anyway during adolescence and, therefore, it is troubling to find that the negative effects of larger body size can outlive the obesity itself."
Mustillo noted that providing mental health assistance during the weight loss process could be a benefit. Moreover, better understanding and addressing body image, identity and self-esteem issues could ultimately help keep the weight off, "Why keep dieting and exercising if you are still going to see yourself as fat?"She said.
Dr.Mustillo adds that it is difficult to shiver off the damage in the self-worth that happens in the obese because of the stereotypes and negative perceptions of obese people in society, which may stick in teens' minds even before they are obese themselves.

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Prepared by: Laila Nour

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