The recent body-positive movement has helped a lot of people have a better relationship with their own body. Men and women of all sizes have been encouraged to believe in themselves more and to respect themselves and their bodies because everyone is beautiful. However, as empowering as this movement might be, a new study, which the journal Obesity recently published, claims that while this movement might feed the soul, it may endanger the body. These movements might prevent overweight or even obese adults from perceiving the risk that they are exposing themselves to.
Such behaviors might not only false images but promote an unhealthy lifestyle. In order to reach this conclusion, the team of researchers conducted a survey among 23,000 British overweight or obese adults. They compared their perception about their weight as opposed to the harsh reality. About 60% of men were likely to underestimate their weight. Only 30% of women did that. The fight against this plus-size stigma has not helped anyone improve their health. It seems that people who underestimated their weight were 85% less likely to do something about it in comparison to those who acknowledged their real weight.
Body-positive movements might promote unhealthy habits
It’s even more interesting that people of lower levels of income and education were more likely to underestimate their weight. Minority groups were also in this situation. As a result, they were more likely to ignore their problem and not lose weight. According to lead author Raya Muttarak, these differences only reflect the socioeconomic indicators of obesity.
And if people think that this body image problem is a gendered one, they are wrong. It affects both men and women and it’s usually because of how brands like to make their advertising campaigns. For example, the average American woman wears a size 16. However, most of the models in clothing campaigns wear double-zero and zero.
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