Obese Personality - TestYourself.psychtests.com Reveals How Women's Thoughts and Emotions Play a Role in Weight Issues
TestYourself.psychtests.com looks beyond the scale and into the minds of obese women.
MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- July 9, 2012
TestYourself.psychtests.com, a pioneer in online personality, career, and IQ assessments releases their latest research on weight problems in women, and discusses the emotional and psychological factors that play a role.
Obesity may be an epidemic in the Western world, but so is its impact on physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Taking a critical look at what we're eating and what type of physical activity we engage in (if any) is important, but of equal importance is what's going on in our head. TestYourself.com assessed over 400 women's attitudes, behaviors, and thoughts about everything from their body to how they deal with stress.
While women of all ages are likely to be unhappy with their body, TestYourself's statistics reveal that women below the age of 18 tend to be the most vulnerable. Compared to 18 to 29 year olds and women over 30, younger women were more likely to experience "food guilt" (feeling bad after eating something they felt they shouldn't have). Women over the age of 30 were more likely to be motivated to lose weight, to have better self-esteem, and to deal with stress in a much healthier way (making emotional eating less likely). They were less likely, however, to be as physically active as younger women. 18 to 29 year olds, perhaps due to their more active social lives, had a higher tendency to engage in late-night food no-no's, like eating large meals or sneaking snacks late in the evening.
The result? Only 7% of women in the sample said that they are totally happy with their body. The most unhappy women were those in the "overweight" category, followed by obese women and women of a healthy weight. 6% of women in TestYourself's sample also indicated they were considering undergoing bariatric surgery.
"On the one hand, women are bombarded with images of skinny beauty standards, which make them feel bad about themselves. On the other hand, women are sent the message that they should love themselves as they are, regardless of size, because the beauty ideal really is subjective. But both of these extremes are missing an important point. It's essential for women to like their bodies, imperfections and all, but the main point should focus on health, not on beauty or blind acceptance of the body that you have," explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of company. "It's fine to be a bit overweight if you are in good shape. But if you tell a heavily obese woman who gets breathless after walking for 5 minutes that she should love her body the way it is, you are not really helping. It's not healthy for her to accept her body as is. By the same token, the same applies to those who are severely underweight."
When comparing obese vs. healthy weight women, TestYourself's study results reveal that obese women were more likely to lack self-discipline, to use food as a reward, to lack self-belief, to be emotional eaters, and to use unhealthy ways of dealing with stress, like withdrawing from others rather than seeking social support. Obese women were also more likely to practice unhealthy eating habits (grazing, night-time snacking, binge eating), and more likely to have an "external locus of control" in regards to their health; that is, they are more likely to believe that they are a victim of a fixed genetic make-up, and thus have little, if any, control over the quality of their physical health.
"There are several key elements that stood out for us in this study," concludes Dr. Jerabek. "The fact that many of the women in the sample did not have a readily available repertoire of coping skills was clear. This is unfortunate because research has clearly shown the impact of stress on health and eating habits. This may also be why a lot of women are emotional eaters, binge eaters, or practice other unhealthy eating habits like rewarding themselves with food. Issues like a lack of self-discipline, low tolerance for frustration, a sense of apathy/powerlessness over one's life and a lack of self-belief will either be the source of weight gain, the obstacle behind unsuccessful weight loss efforts, or both. This is why it's important, before embarking on a weight loss journey, to deal with the underlying emotional and cognitive causes. Weight loss is just as much an emotional and psychological reformation as it is a physical one."
Those who wish to learn more about their diet and weight loss habits can take TestYourself's Diet & Weight Loss test at:
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