Friday, August 10, 2012

Thinking Yourself Obese

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), observed the relationship between perceived weights and actual weights among teenagers and young adults. "... young people who see themselves as fat often change their eating habits by skipping meals, for example. Research has shown that dropping breakfast can lead to obesity," Cuypers (researcher from NTNU) said. The first stage of the study conducted between the years 1995-1997, comprised of 1,196 normal weight male and female teens. Researchers followed up with each individual between the years of 2006-2008 where participants were between the ages of 24 and 30. Results demonstrated 22 percent of normal weight girls are more likely to classify themselves as overweight compared to nine percent of boys. Researchers believe the gender difference lies in the media advertisement that focuses primarily on targeting females rather than males. "Girls thus experience more psychosocial stress to achieve the ideal body," Cuypers said. "Society needs to move away from a focus on weight, and instead needs to emphasize healthy eating habits, such as eating regular and varied meals and eating breakfast. Good sleep habits are also an advantage. And by reducing the amount that teens are transported to and from school and recreational activities, teens might also be able to avoid getting a 'commuter belly'," Cuypers adds
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