Navigation Links
Fear of getting fat seen in healthy women's brain scans
Date:4/13/2010

A group of women in a new study seemed unlikely to have body image issues at least their responses on a tried-and-true psychological screening presented no red flags.

That assessment changed when Brigham Young University researchers used MRI technology to observe what happened in the brain when people viewed images of complete strangers.

If the stranger happened to be overweight and female, it surprisingly activated in women's brains an area that processes identity and self-reflection. Men did not show signs of any self-reflection in similar situations.

"These women have no history of eating disorders and project an attitude that they don't care about body image," said Mark Allen, a BYU neuroscientist. "Yet under the surface is an anxiety about getting fat and the centrality of body image to self."

Allen makes his report with grad student Tyler Owens and BYU psychology professor Diane Spangler in the May issue of the psychological journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Spangler and Allen collaborate on a long-term project to improve treatment of eating disorders by tracking progress with brain imaging. When anorexic and bulimic women view an overweight stranger, the brain's self-reflection center known as the medial prefrontal cortex lights up in ways that suggest extreme unhappiness and in some cases, self-loathing.

The motivation for this new study was to establish a point of reference among a control group of women who scored in the healthy range on eating disorder diagnostic tests. Surprisingly, even this control group exhibited what Allen calls "sub-clinical" issues with body image.

Seeing that, Allen and Owens ran the experiments with a group of men for comparison.

"Although these women's brain activity doesn't look like full-blown eating disorders, they are much closer to it than men are," Allen said.

Spangler says women are bombarded with messages that perpetuate the thin ideal, and the barrage changes how they view themselves.

"Many women learn that bodily appearance and thinness constitute what is important about them, and their brain responding reflects that," Spangler said. "I think it is an unfortunate and false idea to learn about oneself and does put one at greater risk for eating and mood disorders."

"It's like the plant in my office," she continued."It has the potential to grow in any direction, but actually only grows in the direction ofthe window the direction that receives the most reinforcement."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Hadfield
joe_hadfield@byu.edu
801-422-9206
Brigham Young University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Getting Through the First 60 Days as a New Parent Just Got Easier
2. Getting heavier, younger: U-M study shows generational shift in obesity
3. New Breast Cancer Book Offers Humor Filled Look at Being Thirty-Something, Single And Getting Through Diagnosis
4. Some Older ER Patients Are Getting the Wrong Medicines, U-M Study Finds
5. Some older ER patients are getting the wrong medicines, U-M study finds
6. Beware of Getting Caught in the Crossfire, Warns MediCare International
7. Panel asks dairy avoiders: Are you getting enough?
8. 57 Million Americans Are on the Brink of Getting Diabetes: A Convenient Lab Test Can Help Pull Them Back
9. Many veterans not getting enough treatment for PTSD
10. Older Stroke Patients Are Getting Better Treatment
11. Are Haitian Women and Children Getting Less Earthquake Aid?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance ... care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive ... the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... provider of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by ... (EATS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... WILMINGTON, Del. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... technology and advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range ... and National Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults ... tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in the ... today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology Inc., ... therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 in ... enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy venture. ... Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings over ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses ... today:   ... Jim ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... Sept. 13, 2017   OrthoAtlanta has been named ... Football Host Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College Football Playoff ... 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia ... AFHC "I,m In" campaign, participating in many activities leading up ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: