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fat and skinny

(MedicalNews, April, 2010) – University of Alberta researches have conducted research showing general perceptions about thin and fat people. If a thin person is seen lying down or “couch potatoing”, the thin person is not perceived as lazy. But when a fat person is seen on the couch watching TV, general perception concludes that he is absolutely lazy without any motivation to lose weight.

“These stereotypes need to be addressed,” says Tanya Berry, lead researcher from the Univerity of Alberta’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. “It will never mean necessarily that a thin person is healthy nor an overweight person never exercises.”
Tanya Berry, from the U of A’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says these stereotypes about overweight people need to be addressed. Berry says just because a person is overweight, it doesn’t mean they don’t exercise, and just because a person is thin, it doesn’t mean they are fit and healthy.

These common perceptions were scientifically examined and explained by having a group of participants looking at a number of pictures that would flash on the screen. After a photo flashes, the word LAZY appears and the participants are asked the color of each word. Participants responded quickly to say the color of the word upon seeing a thin couch potato. When faced with a photo of an overweight couch potato, the participants paused. Berry then concluded that this delay in response is attributed to an automatic stereotype settling in – as the participants think about the person being lazy rather than focusing on the color of the word.

This research was deemed important because as Berry connotes, “Stereotypes greatly influence how people behave, and the more awareness of this stereotype can help people counter the negative influences about themselves and how people perceive them.”

The results of this study, as it changes perception, can spell complacency for those who need to stay fit. It’s in fact a dangerous notion that it’s okay and acceptable to remain fat and keep on with the sedentary lifestyle.

Category : News

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