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Topic Selected: Body Image
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The body of public opinion: attitudes to body image in the UK

Celebrities, gossip magazines, advertisers, and the fashion and fitness industries – all stand accused of an over-reliance on promoting a body ‘ideal’ which is either unrealistic or unattainable for over 95% of the population. The adulation of certain body types can make many of us feel insecure with who we are and have some damaging consequences:

  • Undermining our self-esteem and confidence
  • Leading to bullying and social exclusion
  • Responsible for disordered eating habits:
    - One in four of us are on a diet at any one time
    - Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia are at an all time high
    - Discouraging some from participating in activities which can be good for their health (e.g. sports and exercise) because they don’t feel like they belong.

What do the public think?

Central YMCA and the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England recently conducted a survey of 810 young people and 759 adul...

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