What is Fat Shaming?

Updated: Jul 19

Fat shaming is a process by which someone actively or passively criticizes another person for being overweight or obese.

Fat shaming has become so rampant these days that people aren’t even aware that they are trolling another person for their weight. In today’s day and age, we live in a digital world of filters and photoshop and have unrealistic beauty standards. Body shaming can be done actively by making insensitive remarks and trolling in person, and now more actively on social media or even passively by excluding these people in social groups, sports activities, or even certain jobs like flight attendants, modelling etc.

We forget to realize that obesity is just a chronic medical condition. When someone has any other disease, nobody teases them or bullies them for it. Have you heard of someone getting bullied or shamed for having hypertension or Diabetes or Cancer? Then why do we troll people for gaining weight.

Obese or overweight individuals are often told they are lazy or have a lack of will power to control their hunger or eating habits etc. We now know that obesity is hormonal and metabolic disorder. Whenever someone tries to diet, the body realizes that it is losing weight and it cannot differentiate between intentional and unintentional weight loss. As a preservation mechanism, the stomach secretes a hormone called as Ghrelin which makes you hungrier so that you will eat more and this results in failure of weight loss. This is the reason why over 95% of obese individuals are unable to lose their excess body weight.

Due to cheap and easily available high calorie foods, obesity has become a world pandemic with one third of the world’s population being overweight. This can lead to a collection of conditions called as metabolic syndrome comprising of Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Hyperlipidemia, Reflux, Sleep Apnea, Cardiovascular disorders etc.

What are the effects of fat shaming?

Contrary to what some people think, fat shaming does not help someone to lose weight. In fact, it does just the opposite. People can gain more weight! This results from being stressed causing alteration in hormones such as cortisol leading someone to eat more to cope with that stress. It can also lead to other conditions such as:

• Low self-esteem,

• Lack of confidence

• Eating disorders

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Suicide

fat shaming

How to cope with fat shaming

• Don’t punish yourself for someone else’s mistake, ignorance and bad behavior

• Channelize your emotions in a positive manner

• Surround yourself with people who love you and likeminded people

• Confide in someone you can trust

• Have an action plan and pen it down

• Educate yourself with right resources

• Get professional help

Doctors can help you with:

1) Behavioral therapy

2) Lifestyle modification

3) Diet changes

4) Medications

5) Endoscopic interventions

6) Metabolic surgery


Causes of Consequences of Obesity

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