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 Women 'have inbuilt fear of being fat'

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babaganoosh
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PostSubject: Women 'have inbuilt fear of being fat'   Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:42 pm

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Brain scans of women who were shown pictures of overweight strangers triggers activity in a part of the brain that processes identity and self-reflection.

The results show how women are conditioned to be afraid of being fat because they are constantly bombarded with messages and images of thin being the ideal.

Researchers from America's Brigham Young University found that women felt scared of being overweight without consciously thinking about their figure.

Neuroscientist Mark Allen said: "These women in our study had no history of eating disorders and project an attitude that they don't care about body image.

"Yet under the surface is an anxiety about getting fat and the centrality of body image to self."

The research, published in the May issue of the psychological journal Personality and Individual Differences, is part of long-term project to improve treatment of eating disorders by tracking progress with brain imaging.

Dr Allen said when anorexic and bulimic women view an overweight stranger, the brain's self-reflection centre known as the medial prefrontal cortex lights up in ways that suggest extreme unhappiness and in some cases, self-loathing.

The motivation for this new study was to establish a point of reference among a control group of women who scored in the healthy range on eating disorder diagnostic tests.

Surprisingly, even this control group exhibited what Dr Allen calls "sub-clinical" issues with body image.

The results prompted Dr Allen to do the same tests on a healthy group of men but found they did not think about their own weight when looking at images of fat men.

Dr Allen said that the results showed that even confident, healthy women were much more likely to have eating disorders than men.

"Although these women's brain activity doesn't look like full-blown eating disorders, they are much closer to it than men are," he said.

Dr Allen said women are bombarded with messages that perpetuate the thin ideal, and the barrage changes how they view themselves.

"Many women learn that bodily appearance and thinness constitute what is important about them, and their brain responding reflects that," he said.

"I think it is an unfortunate and false idea to learn about oneself and does put one at greater risk for eating and mood disorders."

"It's like the plant in my office. It has the potential to grow in any direction, but actually only grows in the direction of the window the direction that receives the most reinforcement."
So a skinny female and an overweight male would probably not make a very good couple.
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Concrete Jesus
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PostSubject: Re: Women 'have inbuilt fear of being fat'   Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:48 pm

^^Tell them that. Smile
I resent the notion that men do not have issues with weight too. Check out all of mens mag covers and you will see a bunch of ripped, shirtless guys. Those guys to not represent the average male, but that is over looked because feminist bitch about mags like SI and Maxium.
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babaganoosh
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PostSubject: Re: Women 'have inbuilt fear of being fat'   Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:07 pm

Let's say those ripped guys aren't the "average man". How many people really look at a magazine and go, I need to work out and eat less. I would say it's drastically less than for females.
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