A report published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has concluded that poor body image is an underlying cause of health problems.
This data suggests fitness professionals have an important role to play in building their clients’ self-esteem and not just improving their fitness. Some may say this is a ‘no-brainer’!
The report, which is entitled Reflections on Body Image, was conducted over a three month period and has concluded that there are clear links between poor body image, obesity and to over-exercising. It’s findings are suggest that some people “engage in excessive exercising or become exercise-dependent due to body image dissatisfaction”.
It makes recommendations designed to change public attitudes and behavioural patterns, including compulsory body image and self-esteem lessons for primary and secondary school children and reframing public health messages in “weight-neutral” language.
David Stalker, FIA’s chief executive, presented evidence to the three-month enquiry on the importance of health to combat negative body image. He said: “The report rightly makes the link between physical activity being about health rather than appearance and that is a sentiment we as an industry must continue to convey. Health and fitness is an inclusive activity and our facilities continue to welcome and encourage everyone to be physically active.”
APPG chairwoman Jo Swinson MP said: “Body image dissatisfaction in the UK has reached an all-time high and the pressure to conform to an unattainable body ideal is wreaking havoc on the self-esteem of many people.”