These current body image statistics bring the weight loss challenge into perspective. Let’s let the facts speak for themselves.
- 8 million people in the US suffer from an eating disorder
- 90% are women/girls
- 8 out 10 women are not happy with what they see in the mirror
- 80% of children are afraid of being fat – and unfortunately, this is becoming more and more of a reality
- more than 50% of 10 year old girls wish they were thinner
- Americans spend more than 40 billion a year on diet and beauty products
- The average American woman is 5’4″ and 140 pounds
- The average American model is 5′ 11″ and 117 pounds
- In your lifetime 50,000 people will die as a direct result of their eating disorder
- The current media ideal of thinness is achieved by less than 5% of the female population
Even the most glamorous people have days when they feel less than lovely. Besides the internal discomfort that battling a negative body image can bring, poor body image can be disastrous for anyone who is striving to lose weight. How do you feel about yourself most of the time? Take a moment to really take in the magnitude of these body image statistics, and to consider your feelings about who you are; then, read on. Your self-esteem is vital to your health.
Body Image Statistics Reveal a Distorted Self-Image
Negative body image leads to an overall sense of distortion, making common struggles with overeating and other unhealthy habits even more difficult to overcome. As these body image statistics show, many of us have some unrealistic expectations about the way we “should” look. Often, these expectations are fueled by images of air-brushed celebrities and tall, lanky models. Even if we lost the weight and spent thousands of dollars to nip, tuck, and lift bits and pieces of ourselves that we perceive to be less than perfect, most of us could never compare to the standards these people are held to.
Much of the self image distortion we experience is driven by cultural expectations. Stop for a moment to think about the ways in which different traditional cultures have valued people of different sizes, and you’re sure to find at least one culture or period of time in which your own frame would put you in the most desirable category possible.
Health First – Don’t Become A Victim Of Body Image Statistics
People who are able to learn to love their bodies struggle less when it comes to weight loss. Researchers have discovered that dieters plagued by negative body image have more difficulty losing weight, which in turn can compound those problems with self-image, in a catch-22 that just gets worse and worse over time. Improving your perception can make weight loss easier. Here are a few helpful tips.
- Think in terms of healthy lifestyle change, not just “diet”. You want to make changes that will improve your life overall; changes which will be permanent.
- Find positive real-life role models. Don’t rely on magazines, fad diet promotors, or celebrities hawking “miracle” weight loss supplements to tell you what you should look like. Most normal people are far from “perfect” yet many are extremely healthy.
- Maintain a positive attitude. If you catch yourself experiencing negative self-talk, then do whatever it takes to turn that ship around. Think of the things you do for others, think of your talents, and consider the many ways in which you are special. If you think you may be battling clinical depression, talk to a medical professional. Chemical imbalances are common and can wreak havoc on the way we feel about ourselves.
When you learn to appreciate your body for all that it can do, you’ll realize that you are a living, breathing miracle. When you begin to feel a sense of pride in your body and transform your expectations to make them more realistic, your entire self-image will improve. People who are suffering from obesity encounter enough hostility and discrimination without beating themselves up, too. Focus on healing yourself from the inside out, learn to love yourself, and learn to relax and enjoy who you are. Your weight does not define you! There is only one you; you cannot be replaced, no matter what your weight. Learn to love yourself, and a whole new world will open up to you.
Ultimately, what these body image statistics reveal to us is that what you see in the mirror is totally up to you. See something positive and beautiful and that is what you are.