Women who 'fat talk' less liked

Washington, May 10 : Women engaging in "fat talk" - or those everyday statements that voice dissatisfaction about bodily appearance, eating, and exercise, are less liked by their friends, a new study has said.

In the study led by Alexandra Corning, research associate professor of psychology and director of Notre Dame's Body Image and Eating Disorder Lab, college-age women were presented with a series of images of either noticeably thin or noticeably overweight women engaging in either "fat talk" or positive body talk; they were then asked to rate the women on various dimensions, including how likeable they were.

The women in the pictures were rated significantly less likeable when they made "fat talk" statements about their bodies, whether or not they were overweight.

The women rated most likeable were the overweight women who made positive statements about their bodies.

Corning said that though it has become a regular part of everyday conversation, "fat talk" is far from innocuous.

She said that it is strongly associated with, and can even cause, body dissatisfaction - a known risk factor for the development of eating disorders.

Although fat talk has been thought of by psychologists as a way through which women may attempt to initiate and strengthen their social bonds, the research finds that they are less liked than women who make positive statements about their bodies.

--ANI (Posted on 10-05-2013)

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