Study: Never Shame a Girl into Losing Weight

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Shaming children into losing weight can have disastrous results, particularly if they’re girls.

UCLA researchers contend that if a ten-year-old girl is told she’s “too fat,” no matter how much she weighs, she has a greater chance of winding up obese by the time she’s 19 compared to girls who aren’t hassled about their physical appearance.

Janet Tomiyama, the study’s senior author, said the study of 2,300 girls was conducted in response to theories that browbeating children about being fat is the best way to ensure they won’t become obese.

The girls were asked if anyone close to them had called them “too fat.”

Among those considered “weight labeled,” those told by a family member they were too fat were 1.62 times at greater risk of being obese by age 19 and 1.4 times more likely to be grossly overweight if shamed by a non-family member.

Tomiyama asserts that girls should never be told they’re “fat,” but instead, should hear, “‘let’s go eat healthier’ and ‘let’s go exercise’ and not even make weight part of the conversation.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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