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05 Jun

Weight bias in the UK:

 What is it and what should we do about it?

The first question’s simple. It’s the accepted, nay, normalised, stigmatisation of overweight people by society as a whole.

Who says so? Well, a number of studies have highlighted and described this behaviour.

They not only find that people think obese bods are lazy and lack self-discipline. They also report they’re discriminated against in a number of ways, such as by employers, health care and in relationships.

They’re even offered lower salaries. That’s when they’re actually offered jobs, which is less often than for slimmer types.

What’s the effect on those on the receiving end of these attitudes? Researchers find they suffer more from depression and anxiety, poor body image and lower self-esteem. Well, hey, hold the front page.

So what should we do about the weight bias?

Joining a weight management programme seems to be a generally accepted all round Bright Idea.

NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, funded some research into these programmes. They found the personality of the group leader counted for a lot when it came to motivating their members to lose weight and discuss how they felt.

The cult of leader as hero strikes again. Boing.

Seriously though we can understand it. Look at our own dear leader. She’s got it in spades. She knows her stuff. She’s positive. Empathetic. Fun. What more could you want?

Well there is one other thing. The ability to hold weight bias at bay. To hold the groups in a non-judgemental way. And this is what researchers find the best of the weight loss programme leaders do for their clients. Because of course this is more likely to mean that we’ll return again, week after week, for more.

And the more sessions we attend, the more likely we are to lose weight. And when we’ve lost weight we’re more likely to come back. That’s what the research says.

What makes us less likely to attend is if we’ve not lost weight. Or if our mood or self-esteem are low, or if, well umm, we’ve been overeating. You know the drill.

Repeated attempts to lose weight was a common finding, with yet another study suggesting that lots of attempts have to be made before success squeaks through. It can take a while ..…..

So where does that leave us?

If you want a night off from the relentless weight bias, get on the blower. Our coaches are carefully selected empathetic non-judgemental types, here to help you lose your weight your way. They want you on their list of successes. What are you waiting for? www.practicallyslim.com

 

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