McDonaldisation of the Gyms
The fitness industry is a lot like fast food, say authors Thomas Johansson of the University of Gothenburg and Jesper Andreasson of Linnaeus University. The theme of the article, published in Sports, Education and Society, is the "McDonaldisation of the gym culture." Typical gyms promote a highly standardized idea of body appearance and weight, say the authors, who are exploring the development of a more modern fitness concept. The study involved 14,000 gyms across the world. Johansson and Andreasson are authors of the book The Global Gym, to be released this summer.
I Feel So Fat. You Are NOT Fat.
More than 90 percent of college women studied said they engage in fat talk. Researchers, reporting in Psychology of Women Quarterly, found that many fat talk conversations revolved around one woman denying a friend is fat while claiming to be fat herself. The conversation would go back and forth between two healthy weight peers each denying the other is fat. Researchers say that they found no association between a woman's body size and the frequency of how often the woman complained of her body size with peers. Their findings enforce the idea that fat talk isn't really about being fat, but about feeling fat. The research article, “If You’re Fat, Then I’m Humongous!” is available free online.
Negative Body Image
Previous research has found that participation in social networking sites can lead to negative perceptions and an increased risk of depression. New research takes this a step further and finds that the more time that girls spend on Facebook, the greater the risk of suffering from an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Adolescent girls in particular can develop a negative body image, physical dissatisfaction and a disordered approach to eating. Extensive online exposure to fashion and music content showed similar tendencies, finds a team of researchers from the University of Haifa. They recommend more parental supervision over internet use and other media exposures. More parental involvement appeared to create a greater sense of personal empowerment in the girls.
Know It Like the Back of My Hand
A new study that uses a model of a hand has found that our brain’s representation of our body is out of sync with reality, a perception that could lead to distortions in body image and possibly a contributing factor to eating disorders such as anorexia. University College London scientists found that when participants put their left hand palm down under a board and asked to judge where certain landmarks were, the subjects perceived their fingers to be one-third shorter and hands to be two-thirds fatter than they actually were. The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, aimed to determine the process behind an ability called “position sense”, in which the brain knows where all parts of the body are in space, even with the eyes closed.