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Longitudinal Study: HILDA
Title: An Exploration of the Attitudes and Behaviours of Australia Residents Relating to Weight and Dieting
Authors: Weston, Glenn 
Institution: Monash University
Publication Date: Sep-2012
Pages: 40
Keywords: Body mass index
Attitudes towards body weight
Abstract: The attitudes and behaviours of Australian residents relating to weight and dieting were explored using data collected as part of the HILDA Survey (Wave 7, 2007). Specifically respondent’s Body Mass Index (BMI) was compared with their self-assessment of the acceptability of their weight, personal weight satisfaction and dieting behaviour. The analysis indicates that the decision to diet or not is grounded in the relationship between a respondent’s actual weight, and judgments respondents make about the acceptability of their weight. This assessment influences personal weight satisfaction which in turn influences dieting behaviour. The judgments made by respondents regarding the acceptability of their weight appear to be made with reference to a number of standards, not all of which are consistent with the medical consensus regrading healthy weights. Moreover, it appears that one or more weight standards employed are shifted downward relative to the medical consensus and these more onerous standard(s) motivate substantial numbers of people of ‘healthy’ weight, to diet. More onerous (and from a population health perspective, less desirable) standards are more commonly adopted by women than men. These observations are consistent with the suggestion that western cultural norms (influenced/dictated by the mass media) conflate thinness and beauty (particularly in the case of women) and in effect impose unrealistic standards on the population.
Keywords: Health -- Obesity; Health -- Body size, BMI, Body image
Research collection: Theses and student dissertations
Appears in Collections:Theses and student dissertations

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