Women comfortable with bodies eat better
NEW ORLEANS (UPI) -- Women who accept their bodies the way they are seem to be more likely to eat healthily, according to Ohio State University researchers.
"The message that women often hear is that some degree of body dissatisfaction is healthy -- because it could help them strive to take care of their bodies," said Tracy Tylka, co-author of the studies and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University's Marion campus. "But it may be just the opposite: an appreciation of your body is needed to really adopt better eating habits."
Tylka and her colleagues conducted several studies on a concept called "intuitive eating," which is eating based on feelings of hunger and fullness rather than on emotions or situations.
In a study of 199 college women, published in April in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Tylka found that those who followed intuitive eating principles had a slightly lower Body Mass Index than women who did not.
In new research, Tylka studied 597 women and found that women who reported they were intuitive eaters also reported higher levels of appreciation for their own body.
The findings are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. The studies will also be published later this year in the Journal of Counseling Psychology.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International