Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In the category of "We coulda told ya"

comes this story from the International Journal of Obesity, which reports that there's something even worse for you than being too fat or too thin: thinking that you're too fat or too thin.

According to the article,

. . . individuals with overweight or underweight perceptions have an increased chance of experiencing medium (40 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively) and high levels of psychological distress (50 per cent and 120 per cent, respectively).

By comparison, being fat or thin in and of themselves were

not associated with psychological distress.

According to lead researcher Dr. Evan Atlantis from the University of Sydney, "weight perceptions that deviate from societal 'ideals' are more closely and consistently associated with psychological distress than actual weight status, regardless of weight misperception."

In other words, to misquote Maria Muldauer (and to make an unforgiveably bad pun), it ain't the meat, it's the emotion.

Atlantis went on to say, "Our findings suggest that public health initiatives targeting psychological distress at the population level may need to promote healthy attitudes towards body weight and self-acceptance, regardless of weight status."

Yup. We coulda told ya that. But it's nice to hear it from someone in the science community anyway.


isabella mori said...

yeah, i call this "duh!" science :) i guess it's good that these things get scientifically confirmed but it would be nice if these reports would at least give a nod to the wisdom that people with eating disorders have already figured out years ago.

Anonymous said...

I've long wondered if the rise in mortality rates in the obese have something to do with the stress of being a fat person in a culture that hates fat.