Monday, February 18, 2008

BMI buster


A new study from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has revealed that the desire to weigh less was a more accurate predictor of poor physical and mental health than body mass index (BMI). This effect was also found to be truer for women than men.

Apparently, being happy with your weight is key.

The researchers point to the discrimination against larger people that occurs in social settings, the workplace and the home, suggesting that these processes can be internalised. The resultant negative body image can become a chronic source of stress.

The researchers emphasise that there is a large body of evidence suggesting that social stress adversely affects mental health as well as physical health.

Peter Muennig, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management, explains, "The data add support to our hypothesis that the psychological stress that accompanies a negative body image explains some of the morbidity commonly associated with being obese. Our finding that the desire to lose weight was a much stronger predictor of unhealthy days than was BMI further suggests that perceived difference plays a greater role in generating disease."

More details can be obtained by following the source link below. For those wanting to read the paper in full, "I Think Therefore I Am: Perceived Ideal Weight as a Determinant of Health," will be published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

5 comments:

Beachwriter said...

I should be happy with my weight. They say that weight is just a number, but sometimes I tend not to believe it :)

Social stress certainly affects us mentally and physically.

Body and mind are connected :)

I have my "Peace of Mind" blog up again and a new URL - I am under "Beachwriter."

Tery

PsychPerson said...

Oh boy, this is an area that's been a struggle for me for a long time. I used to be anorexic and was never happy with my weight. Since I'm not doing that anymore and haven't for a long time (thank goodness), my weight's gone up a LOT. I'm not happy with that either, and that's not just the anorexic thinking going on. I'd love to get to a point somewhere in the middle, but that certainly hasn't happened yet.

Health Psych said...

Hi Tery,
Thanks for the revised link. Have added it to my sidebar. I wish I could adopt that 'weight is just a number' philosophy.

Hi Donna,
I've never been happy with my weight either and, especially now, where I take steroids. I'd got to a certain degree of acceptance but I say 'certain degree' because every kilo dropped makes me happy, where if I was okay with my weight, it wouldn't matter.

Anonymous said...

Hi HP, Back Again. Love, Alison.

Deb said...

I read this study and I thought it made sense. Being happy brings well being. Self-acceptance can do ALOT for our mental and physical health.

Now if we can get society to accept us people of all sizes and shapes, we'd all feel better.