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The weighting game: a male version.

The weighting game: A male version

A number of recent studies indicate that women, but not men, tend to see themselves as overweight even if they are not. Dissatisfaction with body weight among women is thought to be a major risk factor for developing eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Young men, however, are far from content with their weight, according to a survey of 226 college freshmen -- 98 men and 128 women -- in the November/December PSYCHOSOMATIC MEDICINE. While nearly nine out of 10 normal-weight 18-year-old women said they wanted to be thinner, normal-weight men expressed conflicting views; more than half wanted to lose weight and about one-third wanted to gain weight. The proportion of both men and women who expressed no desire for weight change was about 15 percent.

Men and women who wished to lose weight shared negative perceptions of their bodies, say Adam Drewnowski and Doris K. Yee of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Both groups viewed themselves as overweight and were unhappy with the shape of their bodies. Men were more likely to use daily exercise for weight control, whereas women more often resorted to dieting anywhere from several days to several weeks per month.

It is unclear whether normal-weight males who want to be thinner and see themselves as overweight are at risk for eating disorders, say the researchers. This group reported dieting more than other males in the college sample, but still dieted much less than the women. Dieting, rather than dissatisfaction with body weight, may be a key risk factor for eating disorders, suggest Drewnowski and Yee.
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Title Annotation:dissatisfaction with body weight among men
Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 9, 1988
Words:268
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