You often see a refrain in the comments of posts about how maybe fat people are humans and don't deserve to be harassed or pestered or treated like lazy scum: "But if we're not mean, fatties will think it's ok to be fat! It's for their own good!" Well, guess what: treating people like shit doesn't actually make them lose weight.
That's according to a recent study out of University College London, the Washington Post reports. Straight from the horse's mouth:
"Our results show that weight discrimination does not encourage weight loss, and suggest that it may even exacerbate weight gain," the study's lead author, Sarah Jackson, said in a statement. "Previous studies have found that people who experience discrimination report comfort eating. Stress responses to discrimination can increase appetite, particularly for unhealthy, energy-dense food."
Oh, and: "Weight discrimination has also been shown to make people feel less confident about taking part in physical activity, so they tend to avoid it."
They reached that conclusion by surveying 2,944 British adults over 50, finding a five-percent slice who'd experienced something like "harassment, poor service in stores or restaurants, teasing and bad treatment from doctors or hospitals." Those treated like dirt gained 2 pounds on average; others lost 1.6 pounds. Of course they can't establish 100 percent for-sure causality, but it dovetails nicely with what common sense already says.
So if for some reason you thought it was even remotely your business to treat fat people like crap so they'd learn their lesson, you can STFU, thanks.
Photo via Steve Collender/Shutterstock