The study, soon to be published in the National Communicaton Association’s Journal of Applied Communication Research, enlisted the help of 33 female and 24 male undergraduates from the University of Arizona. The participants, who had an average age of 21, were asked to fill in a series of online questionnaires over a period of three weeks.
The surveys consisted of questions regarding body satisfaction, opinions on societal pressures and levels of depression and self-esteem, as well as how often each participant engaged in ‘fat talk’.
The results showed that regardless of external factors such as sex and body mass index, participants who engaged in the most ‘fat talk’ had the highest levels of depression.
Leading author Analisa Arroyo said: “These results suggest that expressing weight-related concerns, which is common especially among women, has negative effects. We found that fat talk predicts changes in depression, body satisfaction, and perceived pressure to be thin across time.”
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