|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
A recent study suggests that negative comments about a woman’s weight from family and loved ones may result in increased weight gain while positive comments may encourage weight loss.
Participants in the study included university-aged women who were asked how they felt about their height and weight. All of the women were at the high end of Health Canada’s BMI recommendations.
The researchers followed up with the women five months later to see if they had talked to their loved ones about their weight and how their loved ones responded. Three months after that point, the researchers followed up again to find out if there had been any changes in weight or in their concerns about their weight.
On average, the women in the study gained weight over time. However, the women whose loved one’s told them they looked fine maintained or even lost some weight, approximately one pound. On the other hand, the women who didn’t receive positive feedback from their loved ones gained approximately 4.5 pounds on average.
The researchers found that the women who received positive feedback from their loved ones felt better about their bodies and did not gain weight like the women who did not receive positive feedback.
Researchers from the University of Waterloo conducted the study. It was published in the December 2014 issue of Personal Relationships.
In addition to positive support from loved ones, people looking to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight should eat a balanced diet that includes five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommended that they get at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity every day.