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Med J Aust. 1988 Apr 4;148(7):325-7, 330-1.

Dieting and slimming practices of South Australian women.

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  • 1Division of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


A random population survey of 406 Adelaide women who were aged 18 to 86 years, which was conducted in July, 1986, showed that in the previous year 68% of the women had exercised, 38% of the women had dieted, 15% of the women had fasted, 10% of the women had taken slimming tablets, 6% of the women had used diuretic agents and 3% of the women had used laxative agents in order to reduce or to control their weight. At the time of the survey 43% of women (60% of overweight women and 34% of non-overweight women) were attempting to lose weight. The most common reasons for wishing to lose weight were: to feel better (75% of women); to look better (65% of women); and health or medical reasons (33% of women). In addition, a majority of the women were dissatisfied with the shape of their stomach, hips, midriff, waist, thighs and buttocks. The family doctor, books and magazines acted as the major sources of information on dieting and weight control. However, most of the women felt that their doctors did not provide them with enough advice on this topic, and the women were almost unanimous in their criticism of the preoccupation of magazines with slimness. The results suggest that health professionals need to provide women with more advice on safe weight-control strategies and sensible body-weight goals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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