Losing weight may not boost self-esteem | BPS




Losing weight may not boost self-esteem

A young girl's self-esteem will not necessarily be boosted as a result of weight loss. This is according to new research from Purdue University, which suggested the health benefits of shedding the pounds may not be reflected from a psychological point of view for white teenage girls.

According to the study, young women who move away from being grossly overweight still tend to view themselves as fat, regardless of the progress made.

Sarah Mustillo, an Associate Professor of Sociology at the learning institute, the main campus of which is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, US, noted: "Obese white girls had lower self-esteem than their normal-weight peers and their self-esteem remained flat even as they transitioned out of obesity."

Ms Mustillo said the findings of the research - which are published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour - are troubling, especially as adolescent girls often have difficulties with how they view themselves during this period of their life. 

Denise Taylor, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Losing weight is good for our health, but qualitative research with adult females has found that in most cases significant weight loss leads to greater self esteem. 

"Women regular state that being morbidly obese results in little self confidence and negative feelings, but once the weight returns to a more socially acceptable level confidence and self esteem rises. 

"Partly down to looking and feeling good and being able to buy fashionable clothes, it also leads to greater confidence in taking on new activity, ranging from participating in sport to having the confidence to seek a new job."