Study: Women more ashamed of obesity

Jan. 2, 2011 at 4:18 PM
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LONDON, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A study involving thousands of British volunteers showed twice as many women as men say they are ashamed about their bodies when it comes to weight.

The poll of 2,200 people taken by British diet company Slimming World provided an insight into female self-esteem, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The poll required men and women volunteers to look at themselves in the mirror and choose from 12 adjectives describing how they believe they looked. Those taking part were weighed and measured to determine whether they were overweight or of a healthy weight.

Despite being a healthy weight, 17 percent of women described themselves as "fat," and almost as many said they felt "down" when they looked in the mirror, the Telegraph said.

Among those who actually were overweight, twice as many women as men described themselves as feeling "ashamed" about their bodies.

Men usually blamed alcohol for their heft, while for women, chocolate was seen as the biggest diet downfall, the poll said.

Caryl Richards, Slimming World's managing director, said the statistics showed self-confidence and weight for women were closely connected, while men tended to feel more pragmatic about their bodies, whether or not they were overweight.

"Buying clothes and getting dressed to go out becomes a major anxiety, with the mirror a constant reminder of how unhappy they are with their bodies.

"They'll stay in and decline social events to avoid the issue, they lose self-confidence quickly and their sense of self-worth is seriously affected by how they feel about their weight. It's something that's always on their mind and which affects much of their daily life."

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