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Health Sciences 1001A/B Lecture Notes - Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Heredity

Health Sciences
Course Code
HS 1001A/B
Shauna Burke

of 2
Chapter 14 (cont’d) Obesity and Weight Management
Required Reading: Chapter 14, pp. 415-447
Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
Most weight problems are lifestyle problems
Slow weight gain a major cause of overweight & obesity weight management important for
everyone (slow weight gain over many years is what leads to overweight and obesity, it is a
gradual process)
Early adulthood good time to adopt healthy behaviours (develop healthy habits, easier to
maintain habit than to start a new habit in adulthood)
Several lifestyle factors are critical for long-term weight management
Research: Weight Gain in University
Cornell University (2003) students put on an average of 15 lbs between time they left high
school and end of first year University (“Freshman 15”)
Students gained approx. 4 lbs during the first 3 months eleven times expected weight gain for
typical 17-18 year old and twenty times expected weight gain for average adult
Accounted for by all-you-can eat dining facilities, more number of evening snacks, increased
number of weekend meals, increased consumption of ‘junk’ foods, recent dieting
Research: Weight Gain in University
University of Guelph (2006) suggest that “Freshman 15” is a myth
Study included >100 1st-year women
Women gained approx. 5 lbs between time they left high school and the end of first year
Still a cause for concern as women also increased BMI, body fat %, and waist circumference
Thinking and Emotions
Low SE and negative emotions often accompany weight problems (not always the case, in many
cases there are underlined self esteem issues and negative emotions which are contributing
factors to weight gain not the cause)
Internally held pictures of an ‘ideal’ often result of unrealistic goals and beliefs about how we
and others should be (men look in the mirror and see a small build, women look in the mirror
and see a bigger image of themselves- body dysmorphia) (if you have an ideal self and there is a
big gap between your realistic self and your ideal self, the harder it will be on you, unrealistic)
Challenge these beliefs and replace with realistic ones
Involves setting realistic goals, engaging in positive(+ve) self-talk (and stopping negative (-
ve)self-talk) and problem-solving
Coping Strategies
Food is often used as a coping mechanism (for stress, traumatic life events, way to relieve
anxiety )
Healthier ways of coping include:
o Fostering communication skills (avoid food based rewards especially with children, you
are setting kids up to base good behaviours with food, talk about stress and things you
are encountering in your life)
o Learning to manage interpersonal conflict
o Creating and maintaining healthy relationships
o Using food appropriately—a fuel for life’s activities (know when you are full, not just
eating when you are not hungry)
o Obtaining adequate amounts of sleep (people who get adequate amounts of sleep have
healthier body weights)
Body Image and Self-Concept
Consists of perceptions, images, thoughts, attitudes, and emotions
Developing a +ve(positive)body image important for psychological wellness (body image can be
completely distorted and unrealistic)
Individuals with ve body image more likely to diet restrictively, eat compulsively, or develop
other forms of disordered eating (relationship between disordered eating and this factors has
been shown in research)
Body Image and Self-Concept
Society/media tells us we should conform to ‘ideal’ body images (tells us what the ideal image is
and that if we have it people will like us more, etc.)
Average actress and model is thinner than 95% of female population and weighs 23% less than
average woman
People become dissatisfied with their inability to achieve ideals
EXAMPLE: Study of > 3,000 women worldwide (dove campaign):
2% described themselves as “beautiful
~3/4 rated their beauty as “average
~1/2 thought their weight was “too high”
These idealistic are not just a North American thing, it is occurring world wide
Body Image and Social Cues
SE and body image are influenced by social interaction through two processes:
1. Reflected Appraisal
o We see ourselves as others see us or as we think they do = perceived reactions
o Females tend to attach more importance to physical appearance than males
o Particularly influential are the reactions of “significant others (group of significant
others changes overtime)
2. Social Comparison
Rating ourselves in relation to others
o Points awarded for similarities, deducted for differences
Based on standards set by popular cultures (images and ideals we strive for, there are fads,
do we follow them? If we don’t fit in with them, points are deducted, but if we do points are
Body Image: Acceptance and Change
o Body weight and body shape are both influenced by heredity (genes)
o Individuals can engage in regular physical activity, obtain adequate nutrition, maintain
healthy eating habits
**body changes as a result of the above behaviours will be natural and appropriate for
your genetic makeup