Being Politically Correct Can Cause Weight Gain.

No, I am not making this up.

Being politically correct can cause a person to gain weight, especially 0ver the holidays.

Here's how it works, according to researchers at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

It's that time of year when Americans start focusing on holiday celebrations, most of which  involve high-caloric food. As the festivities proceed, so do countless tips for keeping off extra weight this season.

But, you could be choosing unhealthy options to serve your guests because you don't want to offend someone.  i.e., because you are being politically correct.

Marketing doctoral student Peggy Liu and Fuqua marketing professor Gavan Fitzsimons led a team that conducted multiple experiments into how people choose between healthy and unhealthy food options when they are picking for both themselves and another person.

"We wanted to understand if food choices would change if they were picking a dish or snack for themselves and an average-sized person versus themselves and an overweight person," Liu said.

Researchers discovered most participants (almost 60 percent) would choose the same snack for themselves and an overweight woman (in an obesity suit).  When the woman appeared her normal size 2, participants only choose the same snack about 30 percent of the time.

"What the results show is that people pick the same snack to avoid offending someone they perceive as overweight. This means that people might pick unhealthier options for themselves and others during the holidays if they think not doing so could hurt someone's feelings," Fitzsimons said.

In similar, additional studies, participants told researchers they thought it would be offensive either to give an overweight person healthy food and then take unhealthy food for themselves or, conversely, to give an overweight person unhealthy food and then take healthy food for themselves.

"This suggests that if you are heading back to the buffet to cut a piece of pumpkin pie for your overweight uncle, you might also cut a larger piece than normal for yourself, so you don't hurt his feelings," Liu said.
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Story Source:  Peggy J. Liu, Troy H. Campbell, Gavan J. Fitzsimons, GrĂ¡inne M. Fitzsimons. Matching choices to avoid offending stigmatized group members. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2013


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