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Obese Kids Unmotivated byWeight Loss campaigns

Weight loss campaigns that attempt to get overweight youngsters lose weight by concentrating on the way they look, appear to put them off and are likely to make them// gorge even more, according to a recent study.

Researchers say that they are no more motivated to change their eating habits than those who are happy with their appearance.

Rather the researchers suggest that getting children of all shapes and sizes to think more about their bodies, not particularly favorably or unfavorably makes them much more receptive to campaigns about losing weight and keeping healthy.

Marketing expert Ekant Veer who conducted a study on 330 obese schoolchildren between ages 13 and 18 praised TV shows such as those by chef Jamie Oliver for highlighting health issues.

He said: "Saying 'this is ugly - this is pretty' does not help and is likely to send overweight children into a vicious downward spiral where they eat because they feel unattractive. They are more likely to listen when the issue is approached in a neutral sense that simply encourages a certain lifestyle because it is healthy.

He added, "This is where Jamie Oliver gets it right because he does not suggest things like 'this person is ugly' but just gets kids to think 'this food is good for you - and this isn't.' Anecdotally there is evidence that telling someone they are unattractive because they are overweight demotivates them to shed the pounds and our research seems to back this up."

In the first study that was conducted into the effectiveness of obesity campaigns Mr Veer found some children said there was a big difference between their body size and that of the smaller size they wanted to be.

However the study found that these children were no more motivated to change by dieting and exercise than those who were close to their ideal weights.

One-in-four of those whose ideal size was much thinner than their own size
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