Physical Activity and Body Image

Authored by: Kathleen A. Martin Ginis , Desmond McEwan , Rebecca L. Bassett-Gunter

Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity and Mental Health

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782999
eBook ISBN: 9780203132678
Adobe ISBN: 9781136477805


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The uptake of products, services, and informational resources devoted to helping men and women change and feel better about their bodies is staggering. For instance, the weight loss market in the United States alone is estimated to be over $60 billion per annum (Marketdata, 2011). Americans spend roughly $10 billion per year on cosmetic surgery (Fast facts, 2011). In addition, newsstands, grocery checkouts, and convenience stores are flooded with fitness and health magazines that are filled with stories and advertisements promoting strategies for physical self-improvement. Together, these examples attest to the importance—and fragility—of men's and women's body image within contemporary society.

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