Women who talk smack about their bodies unlikeable: study

Ladies, you may think you’re strengthening female bonds with your girlfriends when you make disparaging remarks about your body weight, but new research suggests that in fact, no one likes a ‘fat talker.’

That’s the overriding conclusion of a US study which found that subjects rated women who made negative statements about their bodies less likeable than those who made positive remarks about their weight.

For their study, researchers from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana presented 143 college-aged women a series of photos which showed thin and overweight women.

Accompanying the photos were dialogues that expressed either ‘fat talk’ or positive body talk.

Women who expressed positive statements about their weight -- regardless of their body mass -- were rated more likeable among respondents.

"Though it has become a regular part of everyday conversation, 'fat talk' is far from innocuous," said lead author Alexandra Corning in a statement.

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

The findings were presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association annual conference.

Not only does negative body talk affect a woman’s likeability, Corning’s research builds on previous studies which have likewise shown that female friends who spend their time commiserating about their weight are likely to have body image concerns.

Similarly, another review article published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly found that frequency of fat talk was associated with increased dissatisfaction with their bodies.