Friday, April 22, 2016

Would People Perceive Themselves Overweight Help Them Lose Weight?

Mounting evidence has linked obesity and overweight to development of chronic diseases including hypertension, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and Type-2 diabetes. Obviously, overweight or obese people should lose weight to stay healthy.

In the past, it was assumed that if people could correctly identify themselves as being overweight, they would have a greater motivation to change their diet or level of exercise so that successful weight management could be achieved.

However, a study conducted by researchers from University of Liverpool in England revealed that people who perceived themselves to be overweight were at a greater risk of weight gain, irrespective of whether their perceptions were correct. Meanwhile, these people were also more likely to overeat in response to stress. Their findings were published online August 7, 2015 in the ‘International Journal of Obesity’.

By analyzing data from United States National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the United Kingdom’s National Child Development Study, and the Midlife in the United States Study, the researchers found that perceiving oneself as being overweight is associated with a higher risk of future weight gain among United States and United Kingdom adults.

The findings were important since one public health strategy is to ensure people who are overweight are aware of it. But unfortunately, people who believe they are overweight may actually delay their weight loss efforts, according to some clinical psychologists. Many of these people might decide they should begin a diet tomorrow and meanwhile finish the cookies first.

While common belief indicates that people should have strong motivation to lose weight if they really want to do so, many of them feel quite stressful and have difficulty in making healthy choices in their lifestyle. They may just fall into the trap of negative stigmas like inactivity, overeating and depression. Instead of taking the stress, they simply ignore it and just use eating to make them feel better. But once they have finished eating, the stressful feeling is back, and the weight problem has not solved yet.

Some health experts argued that the more a person focuses on weight, rather than health, the more difficult for this person to manage and lose weight and control eating. If people who want to lose weight can let go of the obsessiveness with their weight and instead, relax and focus on health, they can not only lose weight, but also manage their weight relatively mindlessly.

No comments:

Post a Comment