Appearance matters more than health for young women
Washington, August 14 (ANI): For college-age women, looks and counting calories come above health, new research has revealed.
Maria Len-Rios, 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-Rios 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 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-R¡os 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 team, who conducted in-depth interviews with nutritional counsellors, found that lack of time and unhealthy food environments can also 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-R¡os added. (ANI)
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