In a recent Excy post, we called out “5 Frequently Used Fat Shaming Comments” and how research shows they create a negative impact on the people who hear them. We also demonstrated how a new study shows that highlighting people’s weight or discriminating against them in everyday life can cause them to put on more weight as they resort to comfort eating. A quick glance at Haley Morris-Cafiero Kickstarter campaign also has some great insight!

As we get ready to eat way too much food (I’m a sucker for pecan pie) and our belts get a little tighter or we sneak unbuttoning our jeans post-Christmas dinner, don’t even bat an eye. Enjoy it!

But, in all seriousness as we enter a new year, it’s more important to focus on overall health and happiness rather than looks and calories. So, keep your fat shaming comments to yourself.

Here are our Excy thoughts to consider before an irresponsible fat shamming comment exits your lips (or is captured in your facial expression):

  • Everyone has different body types, a person may not look like what is portrayed in media, really, not everyone can look like Chris Hemsworth, Sexiest Man Alive, or Cameron Diaz. We should be supporting those confident in their skin and empowering them regardless of shape and size. Not everyone can be the idealized version of what society sees and tries to emulate.
  • Plus, there are a variety of reasons for obesity and raising awareness of some of these factors—including genetics—might help educate others vs. blame. According to the CDC, more than 1/3 of Americans are obese (BMI of 30+) and X are overweight (BMI of 25-29.9)
  • Nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week, potentially setting themselves up for years of health problems.
  • And if a woman just had a baby, especially a C-section, it’s hard to get back to pre-baby weight. If you’re fat shaming a new mom, you’re just plain mean. Stop it.

If you’re truly concerned about someone’s health, especially if you know that health issues run in the family, WebMD has a wonderful list “10 Ways to Help a Loved One Lose Weight.” Take a look for some great ideas that will inspire you to be helpful rather than hurtful in 2015.

  1. Be a cheerleader, not a coach
  2. Become an active part of their program
  3. Help develop healthy incentives
  4. Show them you care about the person, not the diet
  5. When they’ve had a bad day, listen but don’t judge
  6. Be “aggressively supportive”
  7. Find non-food ways to celebrate the small goals along the way
  8. Encourage a healthy lifestyle, not just weight loss
  9. Learn about their weight loss program
  10. Be positive!

Our number 11: Set a joint goal like running a 5k together.

fat shaming

If you’re truly concerned about someone’s health, these are some great ideas that will inspire you to be helpful rather than hurtful from WebMD

Photo: Haley Morris-Cafiero who released a series of self-portraits showing how bystanders looked at her in public. Her series of photographs, Wait Watchers, has been featured in over 50 articles all over the world and she has appeared on CBS This Morning and NPR to discuss her photographs. Follow her on Facebook.

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