Women whose family members or loved ones are critical of their weight tend to put on even more kilos, new research says.
Women who were accepted by their loved ones as they were or received what the researchers call weight acceptance messages saw better weight maintenance and even weight loss than their counterparts who did not receive positive messages from their loved ones, the findings showed.
“We all know someone who points out our weight gain or offers to help us lose weight. These results suggest that these comments are misguided,” said lead researchers professor Christine Logel from Renison University College at University of Waterloo in Canada.
Feeling better about themselves caused the women to be more active or eat more sensibly, the researchers suggested.
Receiving unconditional acceptance might have lowered their stress, a known cause of weight gain.
The researchers studied young women.
Women, who received comparatively few weight acceptance messages from their loved ones gained almost 4.5 pounds (2.04 kg) on an average, whereas women who received comparatively more weight acceptance messages lost a pound (0.45 kg).
The results showed that when women concerned about their weight, hear that their loved ones accepted them as they are, they felt better about their bodies, and subsequently they did not gain like other women did.
The study appeared in the journal Personal Relationships.
LOGEL, C., STINSON, D. A., GUNN, G. R., WOOD, J. V., HOLMES, J. G. and CAMERON, J. J. (2014), A little acceptance is good for your health: Interpersonal messages and weight change over time. Personal Relationships, 21: 583–598. doi: 10.1111/pere.12050