Study reveals just how lonely and miserable life is for the overweight

A study has shown the overweight are victimised far more than other members of the community.

Research in the UK shows that overweight people suffer a range of indignities, including being photographed by teenagers and mocked by sales assistants.

Being insulted by shop assistants, ignored by bar staff, left out by friends, mocked by passers-by, ridiculed by the opposite sex and photographed by teenagers.

These indignities are some of the frequent humiliations faced by overweight people, according to new British research.

Up to 40 per cent of the 2573 dieters questioned in the Slimming World study said they faced some form of judgment, criticism or humiliation at least once a week.

It included young people winding down car windows to shout abuse, passengers refusing to share a seat on public transport, men in nightclubs feigning romantic interest and teenagers taking pictures or videos on their phones.

Even being a paying customer did not stop comments on food choices from supermarket staff, laughter from shop assistants when asked for clothes in a bigger size, and feeling humiliated as bar staff served slimmer customers first.

Weight discrimination does not motivate people to lose weight, the study found.

Instead, it left 47 per cent feeling ashamed, 41 per cent depressed and 30 per cent like they were useless.

Around 61 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to be greeted by strangers with a smile since losing weight.

Slimming World's research specialist Professor James Stubbs says criticism of overweight people is widespread.

"Not only is this rude and unpleasant, it's also really unhelpful when it comes to motivating people to lose weight," Prof Stubbs said.

Source: AAP

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