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Obese People May Lose the Extra Weight, Not the Stigma

Obese People May Lose the Extra Weight, Not the Stigma

(epharmanews) - A recent study conducted at the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that even after an obese person had lost the excess weight, they might not be able to escape the obese stigma.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii asked young people to read short stories about a woman who had either lost weight, or remained weight stable. The results were unexpected; most of the readers found that the woman who had not changed more attractive whether they were obese or not.

“Prejudice against obese people is widespread and hurtful,” Dr. Janet Latner, lead researcher said. “Many obese people are trying to lose weight to escape painful discrimination. Surprisingly, however, currently thin women were viewed differently depending on their weight history.  Those who had been obese in the past were perceived as less attractive than those who had always been thin, despite having identical height and weight.”  

It is now fair to ask: what else could an obese woman who has finally reached an average weight to look attractive? The proper answer would be: nothing she can do. The society has established a false idea about how easy it is to control weight, due to all the available commercial ads of weight loss products and equipment. It is hence quick to judge people who it, the society, thinks can change but they are lazy because they do not. This belief will not only create a stigma, but also will depress obese people making them ignore their problem because they cannot do anything about the prejudice people have against them.

Researchers assured that there are genetic and biological factors that make obesity something not easily controlled, despite the common idea that weight loss is all about will, determination, and consistency.

This social problem, like any other social problem, requires raising awareness on all levels. Researchers call for promoting comprehensive educational policies to guide individuals towards the facts rather than assumptions.

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Prepared by: Hasan Zaytoon

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