Women ‘often have an incorrect perception of body image’


It’s probably a fair assumption to make that many people see themselves in a different way to how they really appear to others. Those who are genuinely unhappy about their figure may decide to opt for cosmetic surgery such as lipo in order to make their body appear more like they want it to be.

For ladies attempting to reach a desired size, a distorted self-image could prove to be a challenge in itself. A recent study has suggested it is not uncommon for ladies to think of their body shape in a different way to how it really appears.

The Daily Mail called on four females to take a test approved by psychologists that asks them to pick the body shape they believe is closest to their own from one of nine options, with one being a person that is very underweight and nine being an extremely overweight individual. It found that all four participants, whose ages range between 44 and 53 thought they were larger than they actually are.

Backing up the findings of the silhouette test, psychologist Bijal Chheda-Varma, who specialises in body image at the Capio Nightingale Hospital in London, suggested that most women tend to pick an option that is about one or two places away from reality.

She has also encountered an increasing number of ladies who do not suffer from any sort of eating disorder but are dissatisfied with their body. Some of these may even choose to undergo procedures such as breast enlargement in order to boost their confidence.

Commenting on the findings of the test Dr Chheda-Varma said: “Basically, the bigger the gap between the shape a woman thinks she is and the shape she’d like to be, the more upset she is about her body. Most women tend to have a distorted view.”

When a gap of three or more points occurs it tends to show a “high degree of emotional distress”, she pointed out.

In the test carried out by the publication the biggest points gap found was two, with two of the women seeing themselves in this way. Interestingly, all of the women stated that they would rather have a smaller frame than they do at present.

The figures are then used by psychologists in order to create a body dissatisfaction score, with the females in this test scoring varying results of 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Women who are keen to lose weight might be wise to follow the advice of Dolvett Quince, The Biggest Loser fitness coach, who told Life Goes Strong that he totally avoids fried and processed foods.

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