Want to make friends? Stop moaning about your weight: Study finds women who obsess over their weight and constantly criticise themselves are unlikeable

Women who are always moaning about their size, or ‘fat talking’, are unpopular, according to research from the University of Ohio.

Psychologists believed ‘fat talk’ was a way for women to form and strengthen their social bonds.

Yet this new research found that the opposite was true and plus-size women who made positive statements about their bodies were considered most likeable.


Plus-sized women who are happy with their bodies and make positive statements about their size are more likeable than women who constantly moan and ‘fat talk’ according to research from the University of Ohio


High-street stores are selling clothes with size labels that are inaccurate in a bid to flatter overweight women.

Research from clothing company Tailored found some shops are up to five inches out in their estimates.

Critics say this tricks consumers into believing they do not have a weight problem and called for legislation which would force retailers to follow the standard British sizing chart.

Analysis of 12 major British retailers found sizes varied by as much as five inches on the bust, waist and hips.

This compares with a study by consumer group Which? in September last year which discovered variations of 1.5 inches between shops.

But a study has found ‘fat talkers’ are in fact less liked than those who make positive statements about their appearance.

Lead researcher Professor Alexandra Corning from the University of Ohio said the findings are important because the phenomenon has been linked with eating disorders

She said: ‘They raise awareness about how women actually are being perceived when they engage in this self abasing kind of talk.

This knowledge can be used to help national efforts to reduce ‘fat talking’.

She said the problem was a particular concern on university campuses.

Corning describes ‘fat talk’ as referring to yourself using critical remarks about eating, exercise or their bodies.

The study from the University of Ohio found that women obsessed with their weight and who moaned about it were unlikeable. This was the case whether they were thin or overweight.The study from the University of Ohio found that women obsessed with their weight and who moaned about it were unlikeable. This was the case whether they were thin or overweight. Thin women who moaned about their weight were the least likeable

During the study, female undergraduates were presented with a series of clips of either noticeably thin, or overweight women, engaging in either ‘fat talk’ or positive body talk.

The participants were then asked to rate how likeable each women was.

The women in the photos were rated significantly less likeable when they made ‘fat talk’ statements about their bodies, whether or not they were overweight.

The women rated most likeable were the overweight women who made positive statements about their bodies.

Of the women rated unlikeable, those who moaned but were thin were the least likeable.

Corning said: ‘Although it has become a regular part of everyday conversation, ‘fat talk’ is far from innocuous.

‘It is strongly associated with, and can even cause, body dissatisfaction, which is a known risk factor for the development of eating disorders.’

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