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Friday, May 14, 2010

Brain Scans Of Healthy Women Reveal Fear Of Getting Fat

Right response, wrong conclusion.
A group of women in a new study seemed unlikely to have body image issues - at least their responses on a tried-and-true psychological screening presented no red flags.

That assessment changed when Brigham Young University researchers used MRI technology to observe what happened in the brain as these women viewed images of complete strangers.

If the stranger happened to be overweight and female, it surprisingly activated in women's brains an area that processes identity and self-reflection. Men did not show signs of any self-reflection in similar situations.

"These women have no history of eating disorders and project an attitude that they don't care about body image," said Mark Allen, a BYU neuroscientist. "Yet under the surface is an anxiety about getting fat and the centrality of body image to self."
Not an "anxiety about getting fat."

It is the horror they experienced when they were exposed to fatsettes who damaged themselves so severely - a condition these normal women with self-esteem and health consciousness could not abide.

Who can blame them?

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