Current Issue: May/June • Vol. 35 / No. 3

From the Blog

Using Body-Positive Imagery on Social Media

Men reacted particularly strongly to a drive for muscularity. Much has been made of the negative effects of social media sites, particularly those that promote the “thin ideal.” In a recent study,…

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Predicting Relapse
Many factors can signal risk of relapse, especially in AN… Read More

From Across the Desk:

Body image problems start early for men and women. We are familiar with adolescent girls getting the wrong messages about their bodies; this can come from the internet, peers, and family members as well. Well-meaning family members can suggest that losing weight will help avoid the onset of diabetes and other conditions. Boys’ problems with body image center more on muscularity; in one study, 60% of all boys reported manipulating their diet to help them become more muscular (Lavendar et al., 2017).

Dr. Sheethal Reddy’s article examines another side of body image problems, those that develop after bariatric surgery (See “Body Image Interventions After Bariatric Surgery,” elsewhere in this issue). Despite being smaller and weighing less after bariatric surgery, many individuals can’t see any difference in their size and shape. The author outlines certain compassionate interventions that will help. Another article tackles weight shaming. An Italian study found that 1 in 4 young people were shamed about their weight. A reader expresses concern about an older male relative who is worried about his body image and visits a local gym at least 3 times a week (“Questions and Answers”). Another familiar topic involves the barriers to eating disorder treatment that poorer and non-white populations face (see “Update”).

Summer brings its own pressures, with more exposure and more challenges to body image. The good news is the counterbalance of self-acceptance and self-care, to help diminish the effects of social media and unhealthy “must be thin to win” advertisements.