Study: Friends can negatively impact view of your own body

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November 9, 2012, 8:38 am
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(NECN) - It may be time to change the conversations you're having with your friends and here's why: what they say about weight and appearance and your perception of how they feel about their bodies could be influencing how you feel about yours, according to a newly published study in the journal "Sex Roles."

Dr. Sherry Pagoto is here. She's an associate professor of medicine at UMass Medical School and fellowship training director in the division of preventive and behavioral medicine.

How is it that we’re so easily influenced by other people?

Dr. Pagoto says it is because a very common conversation among women is criticizing our bodies. It becomes very socially acceptable to have this conversation, so much so that it also becomes socially unacceptable to say you’re happy with your body.

It’s a social norm of self-criticism, she says.

How do we change the conversation?

We can talk about exercising, which creates a positive self-concept. Hanging the focus to other health behaviors is best.

Watch the attached video for more.

Tags: Weight, UMass Medical School, body image, sex roles, self criticism, dr. sherry pagoto
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