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Researchers Discover Vicious Cycle in Obesity Awareness

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A person who thinks they're overweight will gain more weight than a person who is less aware of their body, according to a study.

The study's results, published in the International Journal of Obesity, observed 14,000 adults in the U.S. and the U.K. with data collected in three groups: the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the U.K. National Child Development Study and Midlife in the United States.

All three studies found "consistent evidence that perceiving oneself as being overweight was associated with increased weight gain”. According to the Midlife study, if one feels overweight (whether it's true or not) one will eat to ease their weight related stress. Hence, the vicious cycle continues.

Is body acceptance a way to break this cycle? Once body positive activist thinks so. Fran Hayden tells The Independent that the study proves "acceptance of one’s shape would contribute more positively to the health and lives of those with body sizes outside of the realms of perceived ‘normality’ and social acceptability."

Accepting fatness doesn't mean the person shuns health and fitness. "Fat acceptance gives people the opportunity to cast off those constant negative jibes," says Hayden. When a person's self esteem approves, everything else falls into place. Whether it leads to weight loss isn't important, but the need to self-sabotage fades. With body acceptance on people's radar worldwide, it would be interesting to see the results of another study from IJO 20 years from now. The vicious cycle could break, or slow down, in a generation's time if more people love themselves as-is.



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