"Fat Attack" Weight Bullying In The Home

6:24 PM, Oct 12, 2012   |    comments
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Springfield, Va. (WUSA) -- Weight bullying and pressuring someone to lose weight happens often. Many of the most damaging cases happen at home.

Friday on the Dr. Phil show called "Fat Attack", they explored the verbal abuse and bullying some people experience because of their weight.  These attacks are coming from the people who are the closest in their lives.

The couple on the show, Valinda and Doug, are living a toxic relationship that involves verbal abuse.  Doug, who is actually a psychologist, has nicknamed Valinda "fatty", "wide load", and "Miss Piggy".

Doug says he is doing it out of love, and that they both want her to lose weight.  Valinda indicates this is hurtful, and she wants the abuse to stop.  This is actually creating anxiety, damaging their marriage, and contributing to her weight gain.

Dr. Phil gives them both advice on how to work together to meet her weight goals without the abuse.

Springfield Nutritionist Alana Sugar, RN, says she actually sees a lot of clients who are going through the same thing, wives referred to her by their husbands who berate them about their weight.  She says the results are damaging and can take a long time to reverse.

Alana Sugar says, "They'll become a closet eater, and they'll stuff themselves with their ice cream, high-fat, high-calorie comfort food later on, because that's what's nourishing or nurturing their soul."

Sugar adds, "What I continue to tell people is you have to get help.  You can't do this by yourself, and it has to be you and your partner."

Sugar stresses that if you are in this situation to seek therapy, but never alone.  Either go with your friend or with your spouse, if he or she is supportive.  You will have a better chance a lasting results.

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