A recent study out of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business revealed that political correctness may be motivating us to choose unhealthy options over the holiday season for fear of offending someone.
More experiments were conducted, delving into how and why people choose between healthy and unhealthy food options when they are selecting for themselves as well as for another person.
The results found that people often pick the same snacks in order to avoid offending someone they perceive as being overweight. The meaning behind it is that many people might choose a less than healthy option for themselves and others during the holidays if they think not doing so might hurt someone’s feelings, according to Fuqua marketing professor Gavan Fitzsimons.
In other similar research it was found that participants felt they would be offensive by giving an overweight person health food while taking the unhealthy food for themselves, or vice versa. It is also said to suggest that if one cuts a piece of pie for themselves and for their overweight relative, they are likely to cut larger pieces than normal for both in order to avoid hurt feelings.
Adult Peer Pressure and Food Choices
Peer pressure doesn’t just occur during our childhood and teen years—it’s a common occurrence at all types of celebrations, including birthday parties, office events and the holidays.
From worrying about offending someone as the recent study revealed, to giving into pressure when offered a treat you wouldn’t normally eat, many people worry about looking like a “health nut” or being judged negatively in some way.
Remember that the decision ultimately rests with you. Only you are responsible for maintaining your good health and well-being, but in order to make better decisions it can help to understand what might be influencing you.
One of the biggest obstacles that people face when embarking on a major change, such as an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthier one, is social pressure. Making healthy choices may make others uncomfortable with their own choices—they might assume they are going to be judged as well.
Resisting the Fear of Offending
You are the only one who lives with your body, for the rest of your life, and it’s your choices that will influence the quality of your life in the future. Don’t allow the fear of offending or being judged stop you from doing what you believe is right for you.
The person you’re afraid of offending may not even notice or care that you’re making healthier selections, but if they do decide to comment about it, it can be helpful to state that you aren’t judging them in any way, you just want to feel better and do the best that you can for your body.
At any holiday event where you anticipate issues with food, come prepared with a game plan that defines what you’ll eat, what you won’t, and how you might respond to a variety of temptations.
It can also be beneficial to be on your guard against common diet saboteurs such as sleep deprivation and stress. The holidays are a perfect time to start incorporating daily meditation in your life!
-The Alternative Daily