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:5/27/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... needing intervention to walk, the demand for a sustainable product to aid in the ... void and aid in the recovery of individuals with hemiplegia due to stroke. , ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Beleza Medspa has initiated a ... This is the first time that Coolsculpting is being used for for more ... months to ensure they meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured by the circumference-based tape ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... trusted name in the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries. Aside from its GMP ... certification (SIC), providing proof of successfully certified products, services and staff. , Validation ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Oakland, California (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... liabilities associated with discovery of thousands of defective respirators, according to court documents ... in the case of William and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... On Memorial Day, Hope For Heroes and USA Medical Card will ... country. The nonprofit Hope For Heroes partnered with the leading provider of free ... military veterans, as well as police, firemen, and EMS professionals across the country, and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... PUNE, India , May 25, 2016 ... "Medical Animation Market by Type (3D, 2D, 4D), by ... Patient Education), by End User (Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals/ ... report studies the global Medical Animation Market for the ... expected to reach USD 301.3 Million by 2021 from ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016  Zymo Research ... for their new reference materials that help researchers ... sample collection to analyses. The rapid growth of ... for researchers to have standard methods to improve ... generated. Biases inherently exist at every step of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... SPRINGS, Florida , May 25, 2016 ... Business Conference & Expo earlier this month, the numbers ... As revenues continue to climb into the billions, more ... the newly released 4th Edition State of Legal Marijuana ... Frontier, a cannabis-focused data-analysis firm, much of the increase ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: