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Overweight teens 'with high body satisfaction are less depressed'

Washington , Sat, 28 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 28 (ANI): Overweight young women who are happy with the size and shape of their bodies show higher levels of self-esteem, a new study has revealed.

They may also be protected against the negative behavioural and psychological factors sometimes associated with being overweight.

A group of 103 overweight adolescents were surveyed between 2004 and 2006, assessing body satisfaction, weight-control behaviour, importance placed on thinness, self-esteem and symptoms of anxiety and depression, among other factors.

"We found that girls with high body satisfaction had a lower likelihood of unhealthy weight-control behaviours like fasting, skipping meals or vomiting," said Kerri Boutelle, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Boutelle insisted that the positive relationship shown in this study between a girl's happiness with her body and her behavioural and psychological well-being suggests that improving body satisfaction could be a key component of interventions for overweight youth.

"A focus on enhancing self-image while providing motivation and skills to engage in effect weight-control behaviors may help protect young girls from feelings of depression, anxiety or anger sometimes association with being overweight," added Boutelle.

The study will be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. (ANI)


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