College-aged women in the UK say they would trade longevity for an ideal body weight.
320 women studying at 20 British universities (ages 18-65; average, 24.49) completed a survey in March.
The research, conducted for new eating disorder charity The Succeed Foundation, in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE), found that nearly 30% of women would trade at least one year of their life to achieve their ideal body weight and shape:
–16% would trade 1 year of their life
–10% would trade 2-5 years
–2% would trade 6-10 years
–1% would trade 21 years or more
Also, 26% of the women surveyed were willing to sacrifice:
–5,000 British pounds from their annual salary (13%),
–a promotion at work (8%),
–achieving a first class honors degree (6%),
–spending time with their partner (9%), family (7%) or friends (9%), and
–their health (7%).
The irony is that body weight is already associated with longevity and with better health. And it doesn’t have to be rail-thin body weight, either, which fits in with the organization’s message and the reason it conducted the survey.
Yet, body dissatisfaction was common among the women surveyed:
–46% had been ridiculed or bullied because of their appearance.
–39% reported that if money wasn’t a concern they would have cosmetic surgery to alter their appearance. Of the 39%, 76% would undergo multiple surgical procedures, and 5% already had.
–79% of the women surveyed reported that they would like to lose weight, despite the fact that 78.37% were actually within the underweight or normal weight ranges. Only 3% said that they would like to gain weight.
–93% of the women surveyed reported that they had had negative thoughts about their appearance during the past week. 31% had negative thoughts several times a day.
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*