NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Shaming people into losing weight may backfire over the long term.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say fat shaming has the opposite effect on people.
They followed 159 people working to lose weight. Those subjected to negative biases about weight were more likely to experience increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and weight gain.
"Health care providers, the media, and the general public should be aware that blaming and shaming patients with obesity is not an effective tool for promoting weight loss, and it may in fact contribute to poor health if patients internalize these prejudicial messages," said Tom Wadden, PhD, a professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and director of Penn's Center for Weight and Eating Disorders. "Providers can play a critical role in decreasing this internalization by treating patients with respect, discussing weight with sensitivity and without judgment, and giving support and encouragement to patients who struggle with weight management - behaviors everyone should display when interacting with people with obesity."