Lifestyle & Belief

Formerly obese women continue facing anti-fat prejudice after getting thin, study finds


Georgia's latest anti-obesity ads, which target children, are sparking controversy.



Getting thin isn't enough to overcome anti-fat prejudice. Formerly obese women continue to face stigma even after they lose the weight, a new study has found. In the study, young people read stories describing women who had either lost 70 pounds or who had remained "weight stable."

The researchers found that thin women who had remained "weight stable" received higher ratings than thin women who used to be fat.

"Currently thin women were viewed differently depending on their weight history," the study's lead author said in a statement. "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.”  

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The researchers think that obesity stigma persists because of the misconception that obesity is an easily controllable condition, Fox News reported.  

While controllable factors such as limiting calories and exercising regularly are important, researchers say a number of uncontrollable factors may also contribute to rising obesity rates. For example, consumption of certain processed foods may cause people to gain weight more easily, research has found. In addition, genetics, environmental obesogens, and urban planning that discourages residents from walking or biking may also contribute to weight gain.