Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Nutr Soc. 2006 Nov;65(4):376-84.

Motivation for eating behaviour in adolescent girls: the body beautiful.

Author information

Academic Unit of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, 15 Hyde Terrace, Leeds LS2 9LT, UK.


Body dissatisfaction is commonplace for teenage girls and is associated with dieting and unhealthy weight-control behaviours. The idealisation and pursuit of thinness are seen as the main drivers of body dissatisfaction, with the media prominent in setting thin body ideals. Television and consumer magazine production in the UK are extensive, annually releasing 1x10(6) h programming and >3000 magazine titles. Their engagement by adolescent girls is high, and in surveys girls identify thin and revealing body images as influential to the appeal of thinness and their pursuit of dieting. Experimental studies show a short-term impact of these images on body dissatisfaction, especially in teenagers who are already concerned about body image. Magazine images appear more influential than television viewing. For many adolescents selecting thin-image media is purposive, permitting comparison of themselves with the models or celebrities featured. Indeed, the impact of the media needs to be understood within a social context, as engagement is often a highly-social process. Media influence is uneven because of differences in its content and manner of communication, and individual differences in vulnerability to its content. Greater social responsibility on the part of the media and better media literacy by children would be beneficial. For those working in adolescent nutrition it is a reminder that adolescent food choice and intake are subject to many competing, contradictory and non-health-related determinants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center