Body Image & Nutrition


Nutrition is one of the key elements that determine the way we look. Although body image is basically your thinking and feeling about your body. It is not uncommon to see people trying to diet by not consuming certain set of food or drinks; or reduce the consumption of such drastically.


The perception of individual differs and it depends on the way we look at our body. Many feel overweight or underweight when in the true sense they are not! The 'assumed' poor image are in most cases attributed to poor diet and eating disorder.



Peer Pressure


Most of the way we feel or think about ourselves has culminated from our environment: family, peer group, media and social pressure. There is no gainsaying that apart from our inborn structure from our parents and environment, what we eat also has an input on our body image. This can be buttress with the way some people look during fasting - some people lose weight during fasting. Fasting is when a person intentionally and willing to refrain from eating and drinking. You may stop eating and drinking completely for a period of time or stop eating and drinking intermittently over a period of time - eating at a certain consistent time and going back to fasting. You refrain from eating a certain set of food or drinks. It (fasting) may even be recommended for some people in order to survive certain ailments or maintain a certain body image.


It is imperative that we need to be convinced and conscious of what we eat if we feel concerned about our body image. When young people are growing up they eat certain nutrients so that the constituencies of their body can be nourished and grow very well. If the right foods are not eaten their physical body and mental health can be affected negatively. During the period of puberty, there is a lot of physical body change and peer influence. At this stage, body image satisfaction can affect the adolescent's self-esteem and confidence. This may culminate from being teased by friends and colleagues about their appearance, a culture that judge people by their appearance, or even a family belief that condemns certain physical appearance. In order to avoid body dissatisfaction, which is a situation where somebody is dissatisfied and unhappy with his or her body, the right diet for an individual should be eaten. it is important to encourage kids to eat healthy food right from childhood to promote a 'healthy body image'.


The Psychological Battle


Women are told how they look from their childhood to adulthood; they are more likely to be cherished, appreciated and praised for their appearance rather than their action. They are valued and judged by their bodies rather than their personality. The physical and hormonal changes after pregnancy also result in negative body image and affect women psychologically. This may lead to distress, shame and lack of self-esteem. Some women may even avoid some places or physical appearance because of that fact that they are not sure or convinced or satisfied with their body image. Self-esteem is very important. It shows the way one perceives himself or herself. Thus, it is important that we have self-esteem so that we can have the confidence to confront challenges and achieve greater heights in life.


Unfortunately, the media, society, and peers are continuously setting unrealistic body image that young and old people deemed to be a standard that must be met. This should be discouraged so that people will not be stressing themselves in order to achieve an unrealistic ambition.


However, in as much as one body image is the way one perceives himself or herself, it is important to follow these healthy diet tips: reduce fat - we should avoid food that contains too much fat because of high calories they contain which is not good for our health and body image; we should not persistently eat food that are low in protein; artificial sweeteners are not also good for us; calories should be cut by all means.


Therefore, body image is akin to be a function of nutrition. What we take in profess on who we are! it may follow the popular saying: "garbage in garbage out". Thus everybody should pay adequate attention to live a healthy life and have the desire body image. It is advisable that if we feel dissatisfied with our body image at any point, it is important we seek the advice of the professionals like Psychologists, Dietitians and other health professionals who are specialists in body image and nutrition.