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Girls’ Self-Image More Affected By Magazines, TV Shows That Focus On Body Image

October 28, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Adolescents, especially girls, who read magazines and watch TV shows that focus on body image are more likely to have a poor self-image, according to a Spanish study of 1,165 high school students. The researchers said the relationship between exposure to these media and body dissatisfaction is not direct, but is real. Psychological variables – eating disorders, self-esteem, internalization of a “thin-body ideal” – can moderate the relationship. Researchers found that exposure to media content such as diet, beauty, health or music videos had a bigger negative impact on girls than on boys. The girls in the study had a lower BMI than the boys, but displayed greater body dissatisfaction: 16.5 percent in women as opposed to 5.4 percent in men.
María Calado et al., "The Association Between Exposure to Mass Media and Body Dissatisfaction Among Spanish Adolescents", Women's Health Issues, October 28, 2011, © Elsevier Inc.
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