Meta-Analysis of Effectiveness of Techniques to Improve Body Image – Public Library of Science



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“Body image is the subjective “picture” that people have of their own body, regardless of how their body actually looks. Body image is a multifaceted construct, consisting of cognitive and affective components (i.e., how people think and feel about their body), perceptual components (i.e., how people perceive the size and shape of their body and body parts), and behavioural components (i.e., the actions that people perform for the purpose of checking on, tending to, altering, or concealing their body). Negative body image is expressed in one or more of the components of body image and is often characterised by a dissatisfaction with appearance and engaging in behaviours such as frequent self-weighing or mirror checking, or avoidance of public situations.

Studies have shown that negative body image can emerge in childhood. Approximately 50% of preadolescent girls and 30% of preadolescent boys dislike their body. In adults, approximately 60% of women and 40% of men have a negative body image, and these rates remain stable across the lifespan. Negative body image contributes to the development and maintenance of body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders, and is associated with low self-esteem, depression, social anxiety, and impaired sexual functioning. In addition, negative body image has serious consequences for health behaviours. For instance, negative body image predicts physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and weight gain, and is associated with unsafe sex, smoking, and skin cancer risk behaviours.”


Meta-analysis of various interventions meant to improve body image, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, fitness training, media literacy, and others.


  • Jessica M. Alleva, Paschal Sheeran, Thomas L. Webb, Carolien Martijn, Eleanor Miles


  • A Meta-Analytic Review of Stand-Alone Interventions to Improve Body Image


  • PLoS ONE


  • September 29, 2015


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