Discrimination 'can result in weight gain'

People who experience discrimination are likely to see their weight increase as a result, a new study has shown.

Researchers from Purdue University found that men who felt they were treated unfairly over a nine-year period saw their waistlines expand by more than an inch when compared with those who did not report such prejudices.

The findings, which have been published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, also revealed women who endured similar experiences reported that their waists had increased by half an inch over the same time frame.

Haslyn Hunte, Assistant Professor of Health and Kinesiology at the institute, said: "People who feel unfairly treated should be aware of this connection between the stress related to their perception and consider coping strategies like exercise or other healthy behaviours."

Paul Gilbert, Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society recently suggested individuals who talk nicely to themselves can really feel the benefit of doing so.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Kerri McPherson said: "Many people experience weight gain during times of stress. This can result from them engaging in comfort eating, a negative coping strategy, or because during periods of stress they are less inclined, or able, to make healthy food choices."

"There is also evidence to suggest that overweight individuals are more likely to experience discrimination as a direct consequence of their weight which makes it difficult to establish whether the discrimination is a cause or consequence of weight gain."