Having poor body image isn't just affecting your self-esteem — recent studies have pointed to a link between bad body image and negative health effects.
A new survey has found that girls with negative body image are more likely to skip meals, avoid seeing friends and family, and even avoid seeing a doctor. Those with low body esteem were also more likely to be less assertive than those who felt positively about their bodies.
The survey, conducted by Edelman Intelligence for the 2017 Dove Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report, interviewed 5,165 girls aged 10 to 17 in 14 countries. As The Guardian reports, 7 out of 10 girls with low body esteem said that they had stopped themselves from eating or "otherwise put their health at risk." And 8 out of 10 said they've avoided seeing their friends and family, and avoided trying out for extracurricular activities.
In each scenario, the numbers were lower for girls who had a positive body image.
Phillippa Diedrichs, PhD, co-author of the study, said in a statement to The Guardian that the figures show how much girls around the world still struggle with body image, and the effect that has on their overall well-being.
"We still have an enormous amount of work to do in helping girls develop the resilience they need to overcome the impact of beauty and appearance pressures," she said."We also need to change the social and cultural environment directly so that girls are not judged on their looks and are not held back from getting a seat at whatever table they want, be it in the boardroom, or in parliament, because of body image concerns."
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