While it’s no surprise that, particularly for young women, body-shaming causes emotional harm, it turns out that merely labeling a child as “too fat’ may trigger a hormonal response from the body that keeps him or her overweight even a decade later.
This discovery was made by Dr. Janet Tomiyama, a distinguished professor in Health and Social Psychology at UCLA, who recently discussed her research with New Roads School’s GLASS (Girls Learning Achieving and Succeeding in Science) group in the school’s Moss Theater.
GLASS was launched last year by biology teacher Eric Cleveland to promote women’s and girls’ participation, inclusion, leadership and recognition in STEM, as both students and future professionals. GLASS combines guest lectures, hands-on activities, a shadow-program and team mentoring among middle and elementary students.
“The subjects of body image and how we view and treat obesity are not just for social scientists. The words we use to talk to children about their physical health have measurable biological consequences,” said Cleveland. “I am excited for the young women of GLASS to hear this perspective on subject with such personal impact.”