Top Form: Body Image and Eating Behaviours Among Students in Sydney.

Year: 1998

Author: Milne-Home, Jo

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper will look at body image and eating behaviours amongst students attending schools in Sydney's North West. The survey data revealed that while girls were desiring a more slender form, boys were wanting to bulk up and expressed the wish to be more solidly built. A variation on the EAT-40 scale was used along with a body image comparison form for assessment of "real" and "ideal" self images. Results from this middle class, multicultural sample, showed that girls preferred boys to be the weight and size that they actually are ("real-self"), and boys preferred girls to be the weight and size they actually are ("Real-self"). There were also differences in patterns of responses from different ethnic groups and age groups. A review of current adolescent and women's magazines for articles on body image, body weight, plastic surgery, diets and nutrition, and the weight loss industry was conducted to look at the issues being raised in the media about bodies, sizes and self-concepts around isses of size and weight. The presentation will emphasise the preoccupation with body types and sizes in the media, using images and headlines and discuss ideas that link the media and aspirations for a shape and size for secondary students (and across age groups). Clearly, this preoccupation with bodies crosses the minds of those who sit in classrooms without engaging in the ideals of the educated citizen where knowledge or career aspirations equate with power, success and self-worth.