UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Effects of exposure to bodies of different sizes on perception of and satisfaction with own body size: Two randomized studies

Bould, H; Carnegie, R; Allward, H; Bacon, E; Lambe, E; Sapseid, M; Button, KS; ... Munafò, MR; + view all (2018) Effects of exposure to bodies of different sizes on perception of and satisfaction with own body size: Two randomized studies. Royal Society Open Science , 5 (5) , Article 171387. 10.1098/rsos.171387. Green open access

[thumbnail of 171387.full.pdf]
Preview
Text
171387.full.pdf - Published Version

Download (637kB) | Preview

Abstract

Body dissatisfaction is prevalent among women and associated with subsequent obesity and eating disorders. Exposure to images of bodies of different sizes has been suggested to change the perception of ‘normal’ body size in others. We tested whether exposure to different-sized (otherwise identical) bodies changes perception of own and others’ body size, satisfaction with body size and amount of chocolate consumed. In Study 1, 90 18-25-year-old women with normal BMI were randomized into one of three groups to complete a 15 min two-back task using photographs of women either of ‘normal weight’ (Body Mass Index (BMI) 22-23 kg m −2 ), or altered to appear either under- or overweight. Study 2 was identical except the 96 participants had high baseline body dissatisfaction and were followed up after 24 h. We also conducted a mega-analysis combining both studies. Participants rated size of others’ bodies, own size, and satisfaction with size pre- and post-task. Post-task ratings were compared between groups, adjusting for pre-task ratings. Participants exposed to over- or normal-weight images subsequently perceived others’ bodies as smaller, in comparison to those shown underweight bodies (p < 0.001). They also perceived their own bodies as smaller (Study 1, p = 0.073; Study 2, p = 0.018; mega-analysis, p = 0.001), and felt more satisfied with their size (Study 1, p = 0.046; Study 2, p = 0.004; mega-analysis, p = 0.006). There were no differences in chocolate consumption. This study suggests that a move towards using images of women with a BMI in the healthy range in the media may help to reduce body dissatisfaction, and the associated risk of eating disorders.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of exposure to bodies of different sizes on perception of and satisfaction with own body size: Two randomized studies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171387
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.171387
Language: English
Additional information: Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Body, weight, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, perception, body size
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049240
Downloads since deposit
54Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item