Body dissatisfaction: An overlooked public health concern

Michaela M. Bucchianeri, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: In contrast to the attention it has received in related fields of research, body image has remained understudied within the field of public health. This is highly problematic, given a growing body of evidence implicating body dissatisfaction in a range of other public health concerns. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: This commentary is based on a review of the public health, body image, eating disorder, and mental health literatures. Findings: Body dissatisfaction is implicated in a range of public health concerns, including impaired psychological health (e.g. depression) and eating- and weight-related problems (e.g. eating disorders, obesity). Originality/value: Given these associations, as well as the high levels of body dissatisfaction in the population, the authors argue for a critical need to address the prevalence of body image concerns as a public health issue worthy of greater consideration within programs and policies; dedicated funding for research on antecedents, consequences, and intervention strategies; and allocated resources for training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Public Mental Health
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

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Keywords

  • Disordered eating
  • Eating disorder
  • Exercise/physical activity
  • Health policy
  • Health promotion
  • Mental health

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