Their friends’ thoughts
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
The peers with whom a teenage girl identifies can affect how the girl deals with weight.
Eleanor Mackey of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., examined survey data on teenage girls’ feelings about weight, and with the peer group with which they identified.
Girls who identified most with athletes were least worried about weight. Mackey suspects they may control weight through exercise and may prefer to look more toned. Girls who identified with nonconformists were more likely to be trying to lose weight and were concerned about their appearance.
Mackey favors the athletes’ approach:
``Instead of focusing on weight or appearance, really focus instead on health, and maintaining healthy behaviors.’’ (6 seconds)
The research in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011