SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

Why We Have Weight Worries

SS Member Image By drodriguez 04.19.10
Why We Have Weight Worries
Share Tweet

The next time you look in the mirror in a scrutinizing way, you may want to consider what a new study reveals about women. The new study, coming out of Brigham Young University in Utah, shows that women worry about gaining weight much more than men.  Even the women who claimed to have a healthy outlook with absolutely no body issues showed brain activity to the contrary.  Researchers believe women are reacting to the expectations of society and media to be thin rather than something biological. 

A recent report from Fox News discusses the findings of the study.  Study researcher and neuroscientist, Mark Allen, describes what they saw during the course of their research,  Allen says, "Even though they claim they don't care about body issues...their brains are showing that it really bugs them to think about the prospect of being overweight."

The pattern of brain activity seen in the women's brain scans when they think about their weight is similar to brain activity seen in someone with an eating disorder, like anorexia.  A spike is seen in the area of the brain thought to be involved in self-reflection when normal weight women think of themselves as being overweight.  Most men's brain scans did not show this type of activity regarding their weight or body image, though male body builders who have taken part in Allen's research show similar brain activity patterns to bulimic women. 

The Fox News report suggests that the results should be a warning to women of just how easy it can be to fall into an eating disorder since our brain activity is so similar those already suffering. 

What do you think of the new study regarding the way women think about their weight?

Do you think we need to be more careful about the way we think about body issues?

Make a Comment

Comment  *
 
 
  • Beekah By Beekah
    08.11.10  

    I don't think that our own body issues are based on part of our brain. I know many shapes and sizes of women who are/aren't comfortable with their image. It honestly just has to do with how well you feel regardless of what you see on tv or in person, but it has an influence. We all want to be beautiful and we all find different things beautiful, which is obvious when you walk down a street and see women with all types of hair styles and clothes and jewelry. If you are not comfortable with how you look you must first, find out why, then take the initiative to change how you look in a realistic and healthy way.

  • mommaduck By mommaduck
    05.20.10  

    I dont know one person that thinks they look great and are happy with themselves. I feel that i am overweight even though i am only 130 lbs. my husband tells me i look great but my wonderful brother (not) always calls me fat. I have had two kids and I do have a pudge and I am down about it. i never had a pudge until after my two cuties. I think the older my girls get the less vocal i should be about my weight. I know i'm not big but i feel i am and i want them to have confidence regardless of their size and I dont want them to be selfconscious about their weight. I do have to say though that they need to have more regular sized to overweight people on tv, magazines etc. people look at them and think that is how we should be

  • Xiulan By Xiulan
    05.01.10  

    This article has so much truth in it. I was always heavy as a child, teen, then as an adult. In my 20's I crashed dieted,. After watching magazine ads, television commercials, videos, and other negative ideals I finally found a healthy medium thru exercise, cutting all junk, and body acceptance.I no longer compare myself to the media hype on how a woman should look. Pretty soon all women will stop falling into the "media acceptance" trap.

  • cybrown551 By cybrown551
    04.28.10  

    I definitely think that we should be more cautious to the way we think about body images. Everyone's body is different and it responds differently to different foods and diets. I believe that it is the magazines and commercials that make us as children believe that we should look a certain way. And if we saw more normal looking people in commercials and magazines then we wouldn't be so committed to one body type or style.

  • Foofie5 By Foofie5
    04.27.10  

    I think everyone has an impression that all heavy people are lazy. I totally do not agree with this. You should not be judged by your cover!! I am a plus size woman up until my forties I was thin Now I am heavy at 50yrs. So I have been on both sides. Women are always pressured to be the perfect woman like all of the TV images. They are not real people!!!

  • Orchid25 By Orchid25
    04.27.10  

    I've been overweight since I was a child, it used to bother me growing up as a teen.. I tried numerous diets even pills. Im in my late 20's now and married, my husband doesn't care about my weight and compliments me all the time so I don't care that Im big. Im healthier now than I was as a teen taking all those diet pills. I've even lost weight, extremely slowly, but the healthy way and Im very happy.

  • Purplemommi By Purplemommi
    04.24.10  

    I think it's society's fault for shoving the images of "ideal" women in our faces. Everywhere you turn there are these awful messages being burned into our brains. My daughter has had the idea that skinny equals pretty from the age of seven. I love how they are "warning women" to be careful but poor self esteem is being injected into us from childhood. I have always personally struggled with poor body image issues. Even now, I am 7 months pregnant and find myself wishing I had a "cute" pregnant body like those in maternity adds. It's a huge problem in this country.

  • cycoswmn By cycoswmn
    04.22.10  

    "The new study, coming out of Brigham Young University in Utah, shows that women worry about gaining weight much more than men." This is news? I just had to laugh at that. ANd yes, I've struggled with my weight all of my life and I would not wish being overweight on anyone. I have more self-deprecating thoughts in one day than most people probably do in a month.

  • MyEmptyCanvas By MyEmptyCanvas
    04.20.10  

    Everyone needs to think better about themselves. Little things can spiral out of control so fast. I know for me, I eat to much of the wrong things and not enough of the right things. I've changed that this year -- eating better.. slowly. You can't make a complete 360 @ once.

  • Kristi By Kristi
    04.20.10  

    People base first impressions on the way you look. Attactive and fit people will always have the upper hand. As much as I hate that, we all know its true

More stories like this