Monday, November 06, 2006

Study says women exposed to images of thin models overeat

An Australian Study published in the November issue of the journal "Eating Behaviors" shows that young women who are "obsessed" with their own body image eat more food after seeing images of super-thin models. The researchers who conducted the study seemed surprised with the findings. They had expected that "people who value the way they look would be reminded by viewing the image and not eat".

The relatively small study took 68 university students and had them answer a questionnaire to determine if they are obsessed with body image (high-objectifiers). Then the participants were shown "six magazine ads for body-related products like diet pills, some containing images of idealized female models, some not". The participants who identified as "body-obsessed" ate more after viewing the ads with models in them. The researchers concluded that "in [the] future eating disorders might be reduced by identifying high-objectifiers in schools, enabling education to change emphasis on appearance and promote a broader acceptance of body shapes."

While education and identifying girls and women who may end up suffering from eating disorders is a good thing, the fashion and beauty industries will still be there pushing the ultra thin model and a perfect face, body, skin, hair, etc. The recent ordeals involving banning models with low BMIs from fashion shows in Spain are a prime example of how hard thoes industries will fight to keep their "ideal" image. We have a long way to go.

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