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A new study from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has revealed that the desire to weigh less was a more accurate predictor of poor physical and mental health than body mass index (BMI). This effect was also found to be truer for women than men.
Apparently, being happy with your weight is key.
The researchers point to the discrimination against larger people that occurs in social settings, the workplace and the home, suggesting that these processes can be internalised. The resultant negative body image can become a chronic source of stress.
The researchers emphasise that there is a large body of evidence suggesting that social stress adversely affects mental health as well as physical health.
Peter Muennig, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management, explains, "The data add support to our hypothesis that the psychological stress that accompanies a negative body image explains some of the morbidity commonly associated with being obese. Our finding that the desire to lose weight was a much stronger predictor of unhealthy days than was BMI further suggests that perceived difference plays a greater role in generating disease."
More details can be obtained by following the source link below. For those wanting to read the paper in full, "I Think Therefore I Am: Perceived Ideal Weight as a Determinant of Health," will be published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health.