Study: Calling girls 'fat' increases chances of becoming obese

A new study shows that fat shaming doesn't seem to do any good. It seems the more young girls are called 'fat' by close friends and family, the more likely they are to become obese.

The LA Times reports that a new study out of UCLA shows that 10-year-old girls who were called "fat" were more likely to be obese by age 19, even if they weren't overweight to begin with. 

The study followed more than 2,300 girls from the time they were 10 to age 19. 

It found that girls who had been called 'too fat' by a family member were 1.62 times more likely to be obese by 19. Those called 'too fat' by a close non-family member, like a friend or teacher, were 1.4 times more likely. (Via Flickr / SkyLuke8)

Science World Report quotes the study's lead author: "Simply being labeled as too fat has a measurable effect almost a decade later. We nearly fell off our chairs when we discovered this." 

The study's authors also point to research that suggests that being labeled "fat" leads to stress, and then, overeating because of the stress. It's a vicious cycle. (Via Flickr / Ed Yourdon)

They emphasize that eating in moderation and exercise, not dieting, will lead to healthy weights. (Via UCLA)

They say that genes play a major role in a person's weight, and that can't be discounted. The study looked at African-American and Caucasian girls. More info is published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

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