Body image and weight management: young people, internet advertisements and pharmacists

Luevorasirikul, Kanokrat (2007) Body image and weight management: young people, internet advertisements and pharmacists. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Media promotion of the ideal body as slimness for women and muscularity for men, has led to increasing numbers of both genders reporting dissatisfaction with their bodies and trying to change using weight control products. It has been suggested that pharmacists can play a key role in promoting healthy lifestyles and weight management.

The main aim of the research study was to examine the impact of media on body image perception and to investigate the role of pharmacists in weight management. This thesis consists of three studies: an evaluation of weight control websites, a body image survey of young adults and interviews with pharmacists.

The results from the evaluation study showed that the quality of most weight loss (64%) and weight gain product advertisements (80%) was generally poor, principally due to the use of misleading claims and a lack of useful information. These data complement the survey that university students reported rarely being influenced by weight control product adverts and hardly considered using these products as a method for changing weight. The survey also showed that most participants of both genders (71%) felt satisfied with their body image. However, the findings in this study indicated that there was a relationship between a high level of body image concern and self-perception of being overweight and the attempt to lose weight. Interviews with pharmacists showed that they were unlikely to be actively involved in reducing obesity problems and promoting healthy lifestyles in the community.

Although the prevalence of body dissatisfaction and the use of weight control products among these young adults may not be as high as has been reported elsewhere, healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, need to be aware of this problem when providing advice or consultations for young adults. Healthcare professionals should promote the benefits of healthy lifestyles as well as providing information about potential problems of harmful weight control strategies. The effect of ethnicity and culture on body image concern warrants further. The availability of weight control products and quality of information provided should also be further examined.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Anderson, Claire
Boardman, Helen
Keywords: Internet advertisements, body image, university students, community pharmacists, weight control behaviours, sociocultural influences
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
Item ID: 10296
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2017 15:23

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