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Cultural and Psychosocial Determinants of Weight Concerns

Judith Rodin, PhD
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From Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Requests for Reprints: Judith Rodin, Box 11A, Yale Station, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-7447.

Copyright 2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1993;119(7_Part_2):643-645. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-119-7_Part_2-199310011-00003
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Several sociocultural and psychological factors underlie Western society's intense preoccupation with the body. These factors include the social value of attractiveness, the strong correlation between attractiveness and perceived fitness, the interrelation among attractiveness, a good body image, and feelings of self-worth, and the relation between pressures to succeed in both the appearance- and work-related domains. The strong societal emphasis on appearance and slimness has translated to both intense body preoccupation and a willingness to try almost any weight-loss strategy. Thus, dieting occurs across all weight categories in response to these powerful social and psychological motivators.





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