College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Articles

Title

Body Weight, Body Image and Self-Concept in Men

ISBN or ISSN

15598276

Publication Title

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, Sage Publications

Publication Date / Copyright Date

7-1-2015

DOI Number

10.1177/1559827615594351

Abstract

In the traditional debate between biological and environmental determinants of body weight, the body has most often been explored in terms of its anatomical, genetic, or hormonal influences on personality, experience, and behavior. While obesity has been identified as a threat to our public health, correlating attitudes toward body image and self-concept have been explored within women to a limited extent, and even less so in relation to men. Consequently, men’s body image will be discussed in light of current literature for women. For men, as for women, as the social pressure to attain an “ideal” physique increases, the discrepancy between that ideal and one’s body increases as well. This dynamic is more readily recognized for women than for men. As men are socialized not to discuss their body image concerns, negative self-concept and esteem may reinforce behaviors resulting in weight gain. In recent years, the proliferation of media has served to reinforce messaging related to one’s body. This review of existing data and literature suggests that body image and self-concept are related to body weight in men (as with women) and need to be addressed as part of healthy weight management practices.

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

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