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Is It Wise To Nudge Someone About Their Weight Problems?

Updated on May 26, 2017

Discussing Someone's Weight Is Never A Comfortable Conversation

Do you know of a friend or even a family member whose weight is heading in a physically dangerous direction that you felt it is your obligation to help and be brutally honest about it? Well, it may not be so easy since weight, for the vast majority, is such a sensitive subject. Weight loss problems or issues about weight are often tied to self-esteem and by being too straightforward, it can have a negative impact and may just push the person to fuel feelings of self-hatred, causing for him or her not to break the cycle. So how do you start?

No Matter How Righteous Your Intentions Are, It May Still Be Hurtful

It sucks when friends, family and even strangers feel it is their responsibility to help an obese loved one lose weight, when the idea of it has not even being considered. No matter how good our intentions are, reality is, we may not really know what is good for somebody else, much less for ourselves. Putting a little extra care in the words we choose can go a long way. It is best to tell them that we care for them and are just worried about the effect. The caring part should come across much stronger than the potential judgement part. Offer to go with them to a doctor whenever they feel they are ready. Or go with them for a walk daily.

Will You Step In And Tell A Friend They're Too Fat?

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Fat Shaming Won't Help

There is no point telling the person over and over that he or she is overweight. It is hard enough being fat already. They do not need to be reminded of it daily. Instead recognize their value, their feelings and make them realize the beauty they have inside that is worth respecting until they begin to believe it. What is important is that it does not come through as a rejection of any sort but genuine care.

Stop Nagging About It

Think about how the person would feel. It can build up resentment even if your advice are undoubtedly for their best interest. Do not harp on it at every opportunity. Let them handle it at their pace in their own way. Nagging creates distance between you and the person you love, which is the last thing you want to do when you’re trying to become an ally and foster change.

Fast Facts

2011-2014
Percentage of Obesity
Adult
36%
Young
17%
Women
38.3%
Men
34.3%
Reference: CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db219.pdf)

Be Encouraging

Never act like you are a diet expert. Never criticize nor judge or tell them about their health issues. Instead be a friend with no annoying questions and just be the person who always believes. Your family and friends can benefit from all the information and help. The earlier they can make changes to their diet and lifestyle, the better chance of success they will have.

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