Given the rising prevalence of overweight and sociocultural portrayal of increasingly thin female body ideals and muscular/lean male body ideals, we examined trends in body weight evaluation using two cross-sectional surveys of US undergraduates in 1990 (n = 794) and 2005 (n = 794). Trends in body weight evaluation variables were examined and compared to respondents’ current body mass index. Results suggest men are increasingly evaluating their weight in a manner reflective of heavier, more muscular societal body ideals. Women are becoming increasingly accurate in evaluating their weight and perception of being overweight is declining. However, the high, stable prevalence of potentially inappropriate weight management behavior among both genders suggests the influence of societal body ideals on behavior remains strong.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 4, 2008
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