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Body image is related to life satisfaction: study

Body image is related to life satisfaction: study
ATHLETES ARE SILHOUETTED AS THEY RUN A HEAT OF THE WOMEN'S 800 METRES AT THE WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN PARIS. Athletes are silhouetted as they run a heat of the women's 800 metres at the 9th World Athletics Championships at the Stade De France in Saint-Denis near Paris August 23, 2003. Pictures of the month August 2003 REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Washington: A new research says overall life satisfaction is related to appearance and weight.

In a survey of more than 12,000 Americans adults, the questions focused on personality, beliefs about romantic relationships, self-esteem, television viewing, and personal characteristics.

“Our study shows that men’s and women’s feelings about their weight and appearance play a major role in how satisfied they are with their lives overall,” said researcher David Frederick.

For women, satisfaction with overall appearance was the third strongest predictor of overall life satisfaction, behind only satisfaction with financial situation and satisfaction with romantic partner.

For men, appearance satisfaction was the second strongest predictor of life satisfaction, behind only satisfaction with financial situation.

People who were dissatisfied with their weight reported substantially less satisfaction with their sex lives and lower overall self-esteem.

The results also showed that people’s orientations towards their relationships, known as “attachment styles,” were linked to how people felt about their bodies.

People with an “anxious” attachment style are often preoccupied with their romantic relationships and fearful that their partners will leave them. Women with more anxious and fearful attachment styles were more dissatisfied with their appearance and weight.

Dr. Frederick noted that, “body dissatisfaction and anxious attachment styles can lead to an out of control spiral and fuel each other. People who are less confident in their appearance become more fearful that their partner will leave, which further fuels their worries about their appearance.”

The results showed that dissatisfied people had higher neuroticism, had more preoccupied and fearful attachment styles, and spent more hours watching television. In contrast, satisfied people had higher openness, conscientious, extraversion, are more secure in attachment style, and had higher self-esteem and life satisfaction.

The study has been published in Body Image. (ANI)