Advertisement

What are some of the reasons many women feel compelled to diet?

There are various reasons:

  • Television, billboards, fashion magazines, and even medical information often encourage us to internalize weight-based stereotypes.
  • Modeling agencies consider size 10 to be "plus size," though the average American woman wears a size 12.
  • We often hear advertisements enticing us to be good (eat salad) or be bad (eat cake), as if our worth as individuals can be measured by the foods we choose.
  • Even medical and insurance charts listing heights and weights do not take into consideration the natural variations in body size. As a result, food often elicits feelings of guilt, indulgence, and fear.
Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

More About this Book

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

Continue Learning about Women's Health

5 Essential Facts About Breast Implants
5 Essential Facts About Breast Implants
Breast augmentation is the number one cosmetic surgery in the US, with nearly 314,000 procedures completed in 2018 alone—a 4 percent jump from the yea...
Read More
Can polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) be prevented?
HealthyWomenHealthyWomen
There is no known way to prevent polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, if a woman has PCOS ther...
More Answers
Things No One Tells You About Menopause
Things No One Tells You About MenopauseThings No One Tells You About MenopauseThings No One Tells You About MenopauseThings No One Tells You About Menopause
Hair in weird places, “menopause brain” and other wonders of the female body. 
Start Slideshow
What Is Postpartum Depression (PPD)?
What Is Postpartum Depression (PPD)?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.