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J Women Aging. 2019 Nov 21:1-14. doi: 10.1080/08952841.2019.1692629. [Epub ahead of print]

Body image in older women: a mediator of BMI and wellness behaviors.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.
2
Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Abstract

Negative body image is prevalent among mid- and late-life women. In younger women, negative body image is associated with reduced quality of life (QOL) when controlling for body mass index (BMI), and mediates the relationship between obesity and emotional wellbeing. Yet, much remains unknown about body image in older populations. In our sample of women aged 50-86 (N = 181), negative body image mediated the relationship between BMI and sleep, all four domains of QOL, negative affect, nutritious food consumption, and psychosocial impairment, but not enjoyment of physical activity. Findings suggest negative body image impacts the wellbeing of older women.

KEYWORDS:

BMI; Negative body image; quality of life

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