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Mannequins promoting ‘dangerously thin’ and unrealistic body ideal, can be dangerous for Young Adults

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Mannequins, Wikimedia
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London, May 3, 2017: Don’t go by the body size of fashion store mannequins for they are “too thin” and promote unrealistic body ideals which can be dangerous for young adults, warn researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, found that the average female mannequin’s body size was representative of a severely underweight woman.

These ultra-thin models may prompt body image problems and encourage eating disorders in young people, the researchers said.

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“Because ultra-thin ideals encourage the development of body image problems in young people, we need to change the environment and reduce emphasis on the value of extreme thinness,” said Eric Robinson, from the University of Liverpool in Britain.

However, altering the size of high street fashion mannequins alone would not “solve” body image problems.

“What we are instead saying is that presentation of ultra-thin female bodies is likely to reinforce inappropriate and unobtainable body ideals. So as a society we should be taking measures to stop this type of reinforcement,” Robinson said.

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“Given that the prevalence of body image problems and disordered eating in young people is worryingly high, positive action that challenges communication of ultra-thin ideal may be of particular benefit to children, adolescents and young adult females,” he noted.

For the study, the team surveyed national fashion retailers located on the high street of two cities in Britain.

The average male mannequin’s body size was significantly larger in contrast to the average female mannequin’s body size and only a small proportion of male mannequins represented an underweight body size. (IANS)

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Mother’s Lifestyle Choices Linked to Obesity Risk in Adolescents

The risk of obesity was also lower among children of mothers who consumed low or moderate levels of alcohol compared with those whose mothers abstained from alcohol

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Mother's Lifestyle Choices Linked to Obesity Risk in Adolescents
Mother's Lifestyle Choices Linked to Obesity Risk in Adolescents. Pixabay

Adolescents whose mothers follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and refrain from smoking may be 75 per cent less likely to develop obesity, according to a study.

The findings also suggested that children of women who maintained a healthy body weight and did not smoke had 56 per cent and 31 per cent lower risk of obesity respectively.

“The study demonstrates that an overall healthy lifestyle really outweighs any individual healthy lifestyle factors followed by mothers when it comes to lowering the risk of obesity in their children,” said Qi Sun, from the Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in the US.

For the study, published in the journal The BMJ, the team examined data from 24,289 children aged between nine and 18 years of age, who were born to 16,945 women. They looked at the association between a mother’s lifestyle and the risk of obesity among their children and adolescents.

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Representational image. Pixabay

The results showed that 5.3 per cent of the group developed obesity during a median five year follow-up period. Maternal obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity were strongly associated with obesity among children and adolescents.

While the greatest drop in obesity risk was seen when mothers and children followed healthy lifestyle habits, many of the healthy habits had a noticeable impact on the risk of childhood obesity when assessed individually.

Also Read: Obesity And Smoking: Roadblocks In Arthritis Treatment

The risk of obesity was also lower among children of mothers who consumed low or moderate levels of alcohol compared with those whose mothers abstained from alcohol.

Further, mothers’ dietary patterns were not associated with obesity in their children, possibly because children’s diets are influenced by many factors, including school lunches and available food options in their neighbourhoods. (IANS)