First, let’s be clear. This is a TINY study. Only 36 participants; which means any conclusions drawn from it are highly speculative. Pretty much, this is one of those studies that found something that MAY be interesting, and therefore, more research is needed.
Also, this is not, really, a fat issue. It is a human issue.
The participants are described as “healthy UK adults”, and let’s face it, it is rare (to the point of non-existence) that fat people are included as “healthy” anything (despite a lot of science showing that fat does not equal unhealthy – ANYWAY).
So it is likely none of the participants were fat.
Okay, this tiny study found that people whose brains don’t recognize or process certain internal messages from the heart and gut are more likely to have negative body image, body shame and weight preoccupation!
Fuck if I know – and more importantly, fuck if they know.
These are subtle “messages” that the brain processes on an unconscious level, but weaker response by the brain was significantly associated with greater levels of body shame and weight preoccupation.
The researchers propose:
This research could have therapeutic implications for people suffering with conditions in which body image plays a significant role. For example, the unconscious signals could be made conscious. Further research could even be applied to the clinic as it may be the case that brain responses to gut signals could indicate a predisposition to eating disorders.
Now, what I would like to know – besides whether or not these researchers have actually stumbled onto something here, which there is no way of knowing until a larger study is performed – is whether this is something people are born with or is it something they develop – and why?
Is this a physical reaction resulting from exposure to fatphobia and fat shaming?
Perhaps some people are more sensitive to these kinds of negative messages and therefore, their brain starts to shut out certain physical messages from the body.
Chicken or egg, anyone?