January 9 2015 Be Nice: It Will Help Others Lose Weight

“The pen is mightier than the sword” may translate to, “Kind words keep down the pounds.” According to a new study published in Personal Relationships, researchers found that women who often heard words conveying acceptance of their body image and size either maintained, or lost, weight. Whereas women who were criticized by friends and family about weight issues tended to gain weight, in fact, about 4.5 pounds of weight on average.

The women in the study were university-age, and according to the study’s press release, categorized as a “demographic often dissatisfied with personal weight.” After asking women questions about their weight and feelings, researchers connected again with the women after five months, again asking about how they engaged with family and friends about their weight concerns.

They found that those women who were unsupported gained weight, about 4.5 pounds. Psychology has long shown links between strong social support and increased physical health. One recent study even found a positive correlation between a stronger immune system and…hugs!

The aim of the study, as it reads, is not to suggest that our friends and family offer to help us lose weight. “These comments are misguided,” says lead researcher, Christine Logel, of the University of Waterloo. “An important part of social support is feeling that our loved ones accept us just the way we are.”

What are your thoughts? As we head into a new year, at a time when many of us have made strong commitments to be healthy, do you have a strong social support team in place? Share your tips with others.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Weight Loss/Behavior

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