According to the information given by a new study, while many people would find it weird but a person’s body image is influenced by people around them. Yes, you read it right! In this study, examining how social interactions influence body image, researchers found that in addition to the previous findings that being around people preoccupied with their body image was detrimental, spending time with people who were non-body focused had a positive impact.
Non-body focused people are those who are not preoccupied with their body weight or shape or appearance. “Our research suggests that social context has a meaningful impact on how we feel about our bodies in general and on a given day. Specifically, when others around us are not focused on their body it can be helpful to our own body image,” said Kathryn Miller, postdoctoral student at the University of Waterloo in Canada. For the study, the team involved nearly 100 female undergraduate students aged 17 to 25.
They measured the participants’ frequency of daily interactions with body focused and non-body focused people, their degree of body appreciation (how much one values their body regardless of its size or shape), and body satisfaction, and whether they ate intuitively in alignment with their hunger and cravings rather than fixating on their dietary and weight goals.