Sarah Mustillo

While showing off a fit body is known to stroke the ego for most, it may not be right to generalize this facet. Backing up this point is a study by scientists from the Purdue University who have revealed that teen girls who lose weight may not necessarily experience higher self esteem.

As part of the trial, a set of girls was inspected for a span of 10 years aged between 9 and 10 at the start. They were categorized into 3 groups namely normal weight, transition from obesity and severely obese. Though girls becoming lean from their obese status experienced better self-esteem, they seemed to still carry negative body perceptions.

“The current national movement to end childhood obesity is successful, we can anticipate many young people moving from obese into the normal weight range, which will result in better physical health. I wanted to know if the same thing would happen for psychological health. Girls often struggle with self-esteem anyway during adolescence and, therefore, it is troubling to find that the negative effects of larger body size can outlive the obesity itself,” commented Sarah A. Mustillo, an associate professor of sociology.

The question that arose in the analysis was whether there was any fruitfulness in achieving weight loss if people continued to perceive themselves as overweight. Therefore, issues related to self-esteem, body image and identity need to be resolved while exercising weight loss regimes.

The team asserted that further studies are required to gauge precisely why girls experienced low self esteem in young adulthood. The article is published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.