Weight Talk and Your Self-Image

Are you always talking about your weight? It might be time for a self-image check. According to new research, people who frequently make comments about their weight are more likely to have a poor body image and suffer from depression.

Researchers at the University of Arizona used online questionnaires to determine the impact that “fat talk” had on 85 female and 33 male undergrads. “Fat talk” included people commenting about what their exercise and eating habits should be, perception of their own shape and weight, fears of getting fat, and vocally comparing themselves to others in these areas. The researchers found that the more frequently a person engaged in this kind of “fat talk,” the less satisfied he/she was with his/her body and the more depressed he/she was. The investigators also found that listening to another person engage in this kind of talk was not caused by and did not result in body weight or mental health issues.

The authors of the study say their findings suggest that expressing concerns about weight, which is especially common among women, can clearly have negative effects.