Nobody's Satisfied: Effects of Abnormal Eating Behaviors and Actual and Perceived Weight Status On Body Image Satisfaction in Malesand Females

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The present study replicated Zellner, Harner, and Adler (1989) in finding that all young adult women rate their Ideal f gures (what they would like to look like) and Opposite figures (what they believe the opposite sex finds attractive) thinner than their Current figures (how they believe they currently appear). While Low and High Eat scoring women chose an Ideal figure thinner than their Current figure, only High Eat women (indicating abnormal eating behaviors) chose an Ideal figure thinner than what they think men find attractive (Opposite). The present study also found that not only abnormal eating behaviors, but current weight status influences body image perception in young adult males and females. Both overweight men and women want to be thinner. Correct weight men (as determined from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company height and weight chart, 1983) wish to be heavier, while correct weight women (also determined from the Metropolitan Life Insurance chart) wish to be thinner. Many correct weight males believe they are underweight and so desire to be heavier, whereas females have a tendency to overestimate their size and therefore desire to be thinner. However, even when subjects perceive themselves as the correct weight they are dissatisfied. Almost all of the females who think they are the correct weight (35 out of 40) want to be thinner and 71% of the males either want to be thinner (7 out of 24) or heavier (10 out of 24).



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