Recent research suggests that normalizing plus size could make more people underestimate their problems with weight. As a result, more people will no longer seek to ditch the extra pounds.
The study appeared in the journal Obesity.
Researchers have found that the number of people that don’t have an issue with being severely overweight has increased in recent years to 57.9% from 48.4% for males and to 30.6% from 24.5% for females from 1997 to 2015.
Over the last year, the body positive movement has gained steam. Proponents want for obese people to feel good about their looks, take a stand against fat-shaming, and boost their self-esteem.
Plus size models have been promoting obesity as an alternative look. For instance, model Ashley Graham’s swimwear photos have encouraged overweight women worldwide to embrace their extra weight.
Normalizing Plus Size Could Make People’s Health Worse
However, the movement has been negatively impacting more and more people’s waistlines.
Seeing the huge potential of the fuller-sized fashion market, retailers may have contributed to the normalization of being overweight and obese,
said lead author Raya Muttarak.
The body-positive movement tries to remove the stigma of being overweight or obese, but it could convince people that being overweight is healthy. Past studies have linked being overweight and obese to metabolic disorders, heart disease, and more.
The latest study also found that poor and uneducated people are more likely to accept overweight bodies as normal. Because the body positive movement is so appealing to these people, lower income people are more exposed to these types of marketing techniques than high-earners.
What’s more, because healthy foods are not accessible to poor people, exposing them to trends like the body positive movement could harm them in the long run and fuel the obesity crisis.
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