Thursday, March 31, 2011
Body acceptance and social support
Women's acceptance of their bodies could have more to do with how other people see them than their actual weight. Researchers from Ohio State University studied 801 women between the ages of 18 and 65. They found that the most important influence on how women saw their bodies was how they thought important people in their life saw them and that the more women focused on how their bodies functioned and felt the more they appreciated them. In turn, the more women appreciated their bodies the more likely they were to eat intuitively, i.e. in response to hunger rather than emotions or the presence of food. The study also found that women who thought they had strong levels of social support were more likely to accept their bodies. For women aged between 26 and 65 those who weighed more were less likely to eat intuitively and more likely to think that others didn't accept their bodies if they weighed more. Women aged between 26 and 39 were most likely to achieve body appreciation by focusing more on how their bodies functioned.