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Body image: how we think and feel about our bodies.

Research has found that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders.

Body satisfaction and appreciation has been linked to better overall wellbeing and fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours.

What causes body image concerns?

The way in which our experiences and environment affect our body image will be different for everyone. However, overall, the research suggests that body image can be influenced by:

- our relationships with our family and friends

- how our family and peers feel and speak about bodies and appearance

- exposure to images of idealised or unrealistic bodies through media or social media

- pressure to look a certain way or to match an ‘ideal’ body type

There are further issues relevant to body image and mental health that are specific to certain factors and experiences, such as:

- long-term health conditions

- cultural differences around body ideals

- gender and sexuality

I believe that it is our responsibility as older generations to younger generations to make children positively aware of : - the beauty of their body and brain, - the beauty of the advanced system within their body and brain that let you live, - the fact that you should look after your body and brain with respect not only to food but also to the words you think/speak that have an impact on your body and brain, and - to learn to say thank you to your body and brain as the body and brain are always unconditionally there for us... That we do not take our body and brain from granted.

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