Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

For Young Adults, Appearance Matters More than Health, MU Research Suggests

August 14, 2012

COLUMBIA, Mo. -When it comes to college-age individuals taking care of their bodies, appearance is more important than health, research conducted at the University of Missouri suggests. María Len-Ríos, an associate professor of strategic communication, Suzanne Burgoyne, a professor of theater, and a team of undergraduate researchers studied how college-age women view their bodies and how they feel about media messages aimed at women. Based on focus group research findings, the MU team developed an interactive play about body image to encourage frank discussions about conflicting societal messages regarding weight, values and healthful choices.

"During our focus group conversations, we learned that young people don't think about nutrition when it comes to eating," Len-Ríos said. "They think more about calorie-counting, which isn't necessarily related to a balanced diet."

The focus groups included college-age women, college-age men and mothers of college-age women, who discussed how body image is associated with engaging in restrictive diets, irregular sleep patterns and over-exercising.

"We receive so many conflicting media messages from news reports and advertising about how we should eat, how we should live and how we should look," Len-Ríos said. "Some participants said they realize images of models are digitally enhanced, but it doesn't necessarily keep them from wanting to achieve these unattainable figures-this is because they see how society rewards women for 'looking good.'"

The researchers also completed in-depth interviews with nutritional counselors who said lack of time and unhealthy food environments can keep college-age students from getting good nutrition.

"Eating well takes time, and, according to health professionals, college students are overscheduled and don't have enough time to cook something properly or might not know how to prepare something healthful," Len-Ríos said.

Based on the focus group conversations and interviews, Carlia Francis, an MU theater doctoral student and playwright, developed "Nutrition 101," a play about women's body images. During performances, characters divulge their insecurities about their own bodies, disparage other women's bodies and talk about nutrition choices. After a short, scripted performance, the actors remain in character, and audience members ask the characters questions.

"When you're developing something for interactive theater, focus groups and in-depth interviews are great at getting at stories," Len-Ríos said. "Many of the stories used in the interactive play-like valuing people because of their appearance and not their personal qualities or abilities-came from individuals' personal experiences."

Burgoyne says the play helps facilitate dialogues about nutrition, media messages and self-awareness.

"Body image is a sensitive topic, and the play helps open discussions about how individuals view themselves and how media messages influence their self-images," Burgoyne said. "An easy way to improve individuals' body images does not exist, but hopefully, the conversations that arise from the performances will help develop ways to counteract the images that the media promote."

MU student actors debuted the play last spring, and Burgoyne said performances will resume during the upcoming fall semester.

The study, "Confronting Contradictory Media Messages about Body Image and Nutrition: Implications for Public Health," was presented earlier this month at the annual Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference in Chicago.

The project is part of Mizzou Advantage's food for the future initiative. Mizzou Advantage was created to increase MU's visibility, impact and stature in higher education locally, statewide, nationally and around the world. Mizzou Advantage is a program that focuses on four areas of strength: food for the future, media of the future, one health/one medicine and sustainable energy. The goals of Mizzou Advantage are to strengthen existing faculty networks, create new networks and propel Mizzou's research, instruction and other activities to the next level. Additional funding for script development and performances came from the MU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

University of Missouri


Related Body Image Current Events and Body Image News Articles


Chapman University research shows body image strongly linked to overall life satisfaction
Chapman University has just published the results of a national study on the factors linked to satisfaction with appearance and weight.

Greater social media use tied to higher risk of eating and body image concerns
Logging on to social media sites frequently throughout the week or spending hours trolling various social feeds during the day is linked to a greater risk of young adults developing eating and body image concerns, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine analysis discovered.

Television exposure directly linked to a thin body ideal in women
For the first time experts have been able to eliminate external factors and specifically pinpoint television as having a direct link with female body ideals.

Anti-fat attitudes shaped early in life
New findings from New Zealand's University of Otago suggest older toddlers--those aged around 32 months old--are picking up on the anti-fat attitudes of their mothers.

Study finds surprising links between bullying and eating disorders
Being bullied in childhood has been associated with increased risk for anxiety, depression and even eating disorders. But according to new research, it's not only the victims who could be at risk psychologically, but also the bullies themselves.

Have an apple-shaped body? You may be more susceptible to binge eating
Women with apple-shaped bodies - those who store more of their fat in their trunk and abdominal regions - may be at particular risk for the development of eating episodes during which they experience a sense of "loss of control," according to a new study from Drexel University.

Study: Negative body image, not depression, increases adolescent obesity risk
Negative body image significantly increases the risk of obesity regardless of whether youth have depression, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health.

Health food stores recommend teens try performance supplement not recommended under 18
Posing as a 15-year-old athlete wanting to bulk up during strength training, a researcher asked more than 200 health food stores whether he should take a sports performance supplement containing creatine.

Is Facebook use always associated with poorer body image and risky dieting?
College women who are more emotionally invested in Facebook and have lots of Facebook friends are less concerned with body size and shape and less likely to engage in risky dieting behaviors.

Patients test drive pacemaker before choosing permanent implant
Patients are test driving a pacemaker outside the skin before deciding whether to have a permanent implant, reveals novel research presented today at EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2015 by Professor Michael Giudici, director of arrhythmia services in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, US.
More Body Image Current Events and Body Image News Articles

The Body Image Workbook: An Eight-Step Program for Learning to Like Your Looks

The Body Image Workbook: An Eight-Step Program for Learning to Like Your Looks
by Thomas Cash PhD (Author)


Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to accept and enjoy the way you look instead of constantly worrying about and criticizing your appearance? What if instead of focusing on your flaws, you felt confident with the body you have right now?If you don't like what you see when you look in the mirror, you may not realize that these feelings are entirely within your grasp. You don't need extensive cosmetic surgery, pricey beauty treatments, or weight loss programs, but you may need to do something even more drastic-change your perspective and the way you view yourself. The Body Image Workbook offers a comprehensive program to help you stop focusing on your perceived imperfections and start feeling more confident about the way you look.As you complete the helpsheets in this book,...

The Body Image Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help Girls Develop a Healthy Body Image in an Image-Obsessed World

The Body Image Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help Girls Develop a Healthy Body Image in an Image-Obsessed World
by Julia V. Taylor PhD (Author), Melissa Atkins Wardy (Foreword)


Like most teens, you want to feel good about the way you look. But what happens when the way you look just doesn’t feel good enough? Whether it’s online, on TV, or in magazines, images of impossibly perfect—and mostly Photoshopped—young women are everywhere.  As a result, you may feel an intense pressure to look a certain way.  Your friends feel the pressure too, which often creates a secret comparison competition that can make you feel worse about yourself.  So how can you start feeling good about who you are, as is? In The Body Image Workbook for Teens, you’ll find practical exercises and tips that address the most common factors that can lead to negative body image, including: comparison, negative self-talk, unrealistic media images, societal and family pressures,...

Body Image, Second Edition: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention

Body Image, Second Edition: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention
by Thomas F. Cash PhD (Editor), Linda Smolak PhD (Editor)


The standard reference for practitioners, researchers, and students, this acclaimed work brings together internationally recognized experts from diverse mental health, medical, and allied health care disciplines. Contributors review established and emerging theories and findings; probe questions of culture, gender, health, and disorder; and present evidence-based assessment, treatment, and prevention approaches for the full range of body image concerns. Capturing the richness and complexity of the field in a readily accessible format, each of the 53 concise chapters concludes with an informative annotated bibliography.
 
New to This Edition *Addresses the most urgent current questions in the field.*Reflects significant advances in key areas: assessment, body image in boys and men,...

Love Your Body

Love Your Body
by Louise Hay (Author)


In this wonderful little book, Louise L. Hay brings you 54 affirmation treatments designed to help you create a beautiful, healthy, happy body. If you are challenged by a particular part of your body, use the appropriate affirmations daily until you achieve positive results.

The Body Image Blueprint: Your Go-To Guide for Radical Self-Reverence

The Body Image Blueprint: Your Go-To Guide for Radical Self-Reverence
by Jenny Eden Berk MSEd (Author)


The Body Image Blueprint is an honest, refreshing, and oftentimes, witty approach to finding body love self-esteem and acceptance in a society that preaches otherwise. The Body Image Blueprint recounts Jenny Eden Berk's struggle to find clarity in a culture obsessed with dieting. Through her own experience and with her proven techniques, Jenny helps readers navigate their own body image blueprint. In this book you will find: - Interviews from more than 50 men and women between the ages of 22-70 talking about their own body image perceptions and feelings of self-worth - Conversations about the rawness and commonalities between so many of us who struggle with body image and body issues. - Techniques and effective strategies for building your own personal body image blueprint.

Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight--and What We Can Do about It

Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight--and What We Can Do about It
by Harriet Brown (Author)


Over the past twenty-five years, our quest for thinness has morphed into a relentless obsession with weight and body image. In our culture, "fat" has become a four-letter word. Or, as Lance Armstrong said to the wife of a former teammate, "I called you crazy. I called you a bitch. But I never called you fat." How did we get to this place where the worst insult you can hurl at someone is "fat"? Where women and girls (and increasingly men and boys) will diet, purge, overeat, undereat, and berate themselves and others, all in the name of being thin?

As a science journalist, Harriet Brown has explored this collective longing and fixation from an objective perspective; as a mother, wife, and woman with "weight issues," she has struggled to understand it on a personal level. Now, in Body...

Living with Your Body and Other Things You Hate: How to Let Go of Your Struggle with Body Image Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Living with Your Body and Other Things You Hate: How to Let Go of Your Struggle with Body Image Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
by Emily K. Sandoz PhD (Author), Troy DuFrene (Author)


Let’s be honest: most people are unhappy with at least some aspect of their physical appearance. Just think of all the money we spend each year trying to improve our looks! But if worrying about your appearance is getting in the way of living, maybe it’s time to start thinking about body image in a completely new way. Based in proven-effective acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Living with Your Body and Other Things You Hate offers a unique approach to addressing your struggle with body image. In this book, you will not be told that your self-perceptions are wrong, that your thoughts are irrational, or that your feelings are misguided. Instead, you will learn to live with the reality that these often painful thoughts and beliefs about yourself will arise from time to...

Body Image Remix: Embrace Your Body and Unleash the Fierce, Confident Woman Within

Body Image Remix: Embrace Your Body and Unleash the Fierce, Confident Woman Within
by Summer Innanen (Author)


In this refreshingly amusing self-help guide, body image expert Summer Innanen gives you the low-down on why changing your body image isn’t about changing your body—it’s about changing your mindset. With her not-so-PG stories and cheeky advice, you’ll learn how to unconditionally love yourself and unleash the radiant, badass woman within. This book will help you to discover, challenge and reset the beliefs that are holding you back from being unapologetically you in today’s perfection-obsessed society. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to get on with the life you’ve been putting on hold and stop letting the scale, your jean size, dietary macros and Fitbit points dictate your self-worth. Whether you’re ready to wholeheartedly abandon the idea that your life will be...

Body Image: Understanding Body Dissatisfaction in Men, Women and Children

Body Image: Understanding Body Dissatisfaction in Men, Women and Children
by Sarah Grogan (Author)


Body Image provides a comprehensive summary of research on body image in men, women, and children drawing together research findings from the fields of psychology, sociology, clothing, and gender studies. This third edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect the significant increase in research on body image since the previous edition, as well as the significant cultural changes in how men’s and women’s bodies are viewed. Data are also included from interviews and focus groups with men, women, and children who have spoken about their experiences of body image and body dissatisfaction, producing a comprehensive understanding of how men and women construct and understand their bodies in the twenty-first century. The only sole-authored text to provide a comprehensive...

Body Kindness: Transform Your Health from the Inside Out--and Never Say Diet Again

Body Kindness: Transform Your Health from the Inside Out--and Never Say Diet Again
by Rebecca Scritchfield (Author)


Imagine a graph with two lines. One indicates happiness, the other tracks how you feel about your body. If you’re like millions of people, the lines do not intersect. But what if they did?

This practical, inspirational, and visually lively book shows you how to create a healthier and happier life by treating yourself with compassion rather than shame. It shows the way to a sense of well-being attained by understanding how to love, connect, and care for yourself—and that includes your mind as well as your body.

Body Kindness is based on four principles.
WHAT YOU DO: the choices you make about food, exercise, sleep, and more
HOW YOU FEEL: befriending your emotions and standing up to the unhelpful voice in your head
WHO YOU ARE: goal-setting based...

© 2017 BrightSurf.com