Westside Behavioral Care, Inc. | Article

Body Image and Self-Esteem

Talking about old age is an important indicator of body dissatisfaction, in the same way that talking about being fat is, according to a recent study in the Journal of Eating Disorders.

Body image is associated with a number of physical and emotional problems, such as depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, worry, and stress. So-called "fat talk" and "old talk" have been found to contribute towards painful feelings. It occurs most often with women who dislike their appearance and wish they were more attractive, thinner, or younger.

Researchers from the University of West England and Trinity University studied the effect of "fat-talk" and "old-talk" throughout women's lives. They surveyed 1,000 women aged 18 to 87 and assessed their talk about weight, age, and body image.

They found that women talk more about their weight and appearance than they do about their age.Those who reported talking about being overweight were more likely to have a negative body image than those who didn't. Although many women believe that talking about being overweight is generally helpful to them, it actually is harmful in many ways.

Revised by Dr. Thomas Giles