Body Image and Weight Loss

Poor body image is a common issue among people of all sizes, and is especially common in overweight and obese people. Research has shown that body image issues are often linked to poorer weight loss outcomes. Additionally, it has been found that poor body image and negative, weight-loss sabotaging eating behaviors are connected. Thus, it is critical to address and lessen body image issues when treating obesity.

We are excited to share that new research has shown that there may be an effective solution to encourage patients to overcome body image issues and shed more pounds. A study conducted by the Technical University of Lisbon and Bangor University found that the effectiveness of weight loss programs can be improved when combined with a program to promote positive body image and body acceptance. For the study, 239 overweight and obese Portuguese women were split into two groups. The first group (the control group) was provided general information on how healthy eating, stress management, and exercise, while the second group (the interventional group) attended 30 group meetings discussing information on physical activity, emotional eating, and how to improve body image. The researchers found that the participants in the interventional group developed better opinions about their bodies and subsequently were better able to control their eating behaviors. The interventional group shed an average of 7 percent of their body weight over a year, and the control group shed 2 percent, on average.

The findings of this study show how through intervention, body image can be improved, which confirms that behavioral weight loss programs–specifically when a body image component is included–have the potential to be an effective method of boosting body image and improving weight loss. This study was published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Studies like these reinforce the importance of the psychological support aspect of weight loss, which is why we are committed to providing on-going support groups and our patient mentoring program.  When you visit with us, be sure to discuss your body image as you go through various stages of your weight loss journey.  A range of help from positive insights to plastic surgery is available to you, based on your needs and expectations

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