Body Satisfaction Low for Women Ages 50 and Older
Just 12.2 percent of women ages 50 and older are satisfied with their body size, according to a study reported by researchers from UNC’s Gillings School of Public Health that appeared in the Oct. 11, 2013 Journal of Women & Aging. The Gender and Body Image study asked respondents to answer questions about their history with dieting and weight control, current eating disorder symptoms, current weight and shape concerns, and quality of life.?
Defined as having a current body size equal to their preferred size, body satisfaction was endorsed by only 12.2 percent of women ages 50 and older. Satisfaction was associated with better overall functioning, with satisfied women having a lower body mass index and reporting fewer eating disorder symptoms and dieting behaviors.
Alhough these women were content with their body size, a sizeable number still reported dissatisfaction with other aspects of their appearance, including their stomach (56.2 percent), face (53.8 percent) and skin (78.8 percent). Weight monitoring and appearance-altering behaviors, such as cosmetic surgery, did not differ between satisfied and dissatisfied groups. Satisfied women also engaged in more exercise per week than dissatisfied women.