Teenagers With Poor Body Image Are More Likely To Become Obese

Thinking you’re fat could actually lead to weight gain, according to new research on body image in teens.

A paper published in the journal Psychological Science found that teens who have distorted body image — specifically, that they thought they were overweight when they were actually normal weight — had a 40 percent greater risk of becoming obese before turning 30, reports New York Magazine’s Science of Us.

Researcher Angelina R. Sutin of the Florida State University College of Medicine analyzed longitudinal (that is, long-term) survey responses from 6,523 people who checked in at 16 and then again at 28. Sutin realized that the teens who mistakenly thought they were overweight had a greater risk of becoming overweight as adults. She hypothesized that the inaccurate body image may be leading teens to diet in unhealthy or extreme ways, which as research shows is a surefire path to more weight gain down the road.

Sutin’s study isn’t the first to establish the link between a teen’s body image and their future weight. UCLA researcher A. Janet Tomiyama spoke with HuffPost in April about her investigation into the issue, which showed that when caregivers tell young girls they’re —> Read More Here


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