Millions of women suffer from low body confidence

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New research has shown that around 10 million females in the UK report feeling depressed because of their image.

The study, which coincides with the launch of Body Confidence Week, found that 25% of women feel that they have been held back from experiencing a fulfilling relationship because of their body image. A further 25% believed that their anxiety about their appearance has stopped them from applying to a job they wanted.

Of the 2339 women who participated in the survey, 36% said they do not exercise because of the way they think they look. Around 26% struggle to maintain an exercise regime and 25% miss meals in an effort to lose weight.

According to the study, a total of 10.2 million women in the UK do not exercise because of anxiety over their bodies.

The Be Real campaign is hoping to change attitudes regarding body image. It was started in response to a 2012 report by a parliamentary group regarding body image, which indicated an urgent requirement for change.

Almost 80% of women agree that the UK suffers from a body confidence epidemic and 54% of females believe that issues related to body image are on the rise.

More than 50% state that they feel powerless against the obsession with looks in society.

The chair of the group, Caroline Nokes MP, said that low body confidence is a vital public health problem that cannot be ignored. It affects both sexes and all ages, sometimes starting as young as five years old.

She said that this campaign is targeting change in three main areas. They want to ensure that children and young people receive education about body confidence from a young age, in a bid to promote healthy living and wellbeing about appearance and weight loss. They also want to encourage advertisers, businesses and the media to look at diversity and reflect what people really look like in a positive manner.

Image Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

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