Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

12 percent of midlife women are satisfied with their body size

Date:
October 14, 2013
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
A new study of women ages 50 and older examines the 12.2 percent who say they are satisfied with their body size to unlock the secrets of body satisfaction. This minority of midlife women who report being satisfied with their body size appears to exert considerable effort to achieve and maintain this satisfaction.

A new study of women ages 50 and older examines the 12.2 percent who say they are satisfied with their body size to unlock the secrets of body satisfaction.

This minority of midlife women who report being satisfied with their body size appears to exert considerable effort to achieve and maintain this satisfaction. In addition, they are not impervious to dissatisfaction with other aspects of their physical appearance; especially those aspects affected by aging, said Cynthia Bulik, PhD, corresponding author of the study.

“Of course the fact that so few women are satisfied with their body size is concerning,” said Cristin Runfola, PhD, first author of the study. “But we were interested in how some women remain happy with their size and shape, given ubiquitous social pressures to retain a youthful thin appearance, and the influence of a multibillion dollar antiaging cosmetics industry.”

The study, published online Oct. 11, 2013 by the Journal of Women & Aging, used a sample of 1,789 women in the United States aged 50 years and older from the Gender and Body Image (GABI) study to characterize the profile of mature women who report body size satisfaction based on silhouettes. Respondents answered a wide array of questions about their history with dieting and weight control, current eating disorder symptoms, current weight and shape concerns, and quality of life.

Defined as having a current body size equal to their preferred size, body satisfaction was endorsed by only 12.2 percent of women ages 50 and older and was associated with better overall functioning. Satisfied women had a lower body mass index, and reported fewer eating disorder symptoms and dieting behaviors.

Interestingly, even though these women were content with their body size, a sizeable number still reported dissatisfaction with other aspects of their appearance, including their stomach (56.2 percent), face (53.8 percent), and skin (78.8 percent). Further, weight monitoring and appearance-altering behaviors (such as cosmetic surgery) did not differ between satisfied and dissatisfied groups, and weight and shape still played a considerable role in body size satisfied women’s self-evaluation. Satisfied women also engaged in more exercise per week than dissatisfied women.

“Our findings underscore the need for a multifaceted approach to studying and assessing body image in women as they mature, as their bodies undergo constant age-related change,” said Bulik, director of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, distinguished professor in the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

First author of the study was Cristin D. Runfola, PhD (Clinical Assistant Professor in the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders and GFED Scholar). Co-authors of the study are Ann von Holle, MS, Christine M. Peat, PhD, Danielle A. Gagne, Kimberly A. Brownley, PhD, and Sara M. Hofmeier, MS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cristin D. Runfola, Ann Von Holle, Christine M. Peat, Danielle A. Gagne, Kimberly A. Brownley, Sara M. Hofmeier, Cynthia M. Bulik. Characteristics of Women with Body Size Satisfaction at Midlife: Results of the Gender and Body Image (GABI) Study. Journal of Women & Aging, 2013; 25 (4): 287 DOI: 10.1080/08952841.2013.816215

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "12 percent of midlife women are satisfied with their body size." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014131334.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2013, October 14). 12 percent of midlife women are satisfied with their body size. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014131334.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "12 percent of midlife women are satisfied with their body size." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014131334.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins