Is Obesity a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

January 6, 2015 6:24 PM

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There are lots of people of normal, healthy weight who, when they look in the mirror, see a fat person. Many of them know that their perceptions are skewed, because trusted friends and family have testified that they are slender, yet they can't deny what they see in their reflection and mind's eye.

Such distorted perception is especially common among teenagers, and it has been linked to poor self-esteem and eating disorders. Adolescents who see themselves as overweight are more likely to use diet pills, laxatives, vomiting and extreme dieting to lose their imagined weight. Paradoxically, these...

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