New Web Site Shines Light on Body Image Issues

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Research Shows Body Image Influences Happiness, Nutrition, Mental Health and Quality of Life

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Once we cultivate a more health-oriented, mindful perspective on our mind and body, we can live a healthier life and improve our overall quality of life.

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The Body Image Project (http://www.thebodyimageproject.com ) is a new web site designed to help the 10 million plus Americans currently struggling with difficulties with body image. Created for individuals and health professionals that seek a community and outlet to discuss and conquer body image problems, http://www.thebodyimageproject.com is an interactive web site that invites testimonials and encourages learning through the sharing of personal stories.

The Body Image Project is based on the work of Tiffany Stewart, Ph.D., and a researcher at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. Dr. Stewart, a former gymnast, is an expert in eating disorders and the use of mindfulness in conquering body image issues. Dr. Stewart conducts research in the assessment and treatment of body image disturbances and eating disorders. She also conducts research on weight management in adults, children, and Soldiers in the U.S. army.

"Regardless of size, most women perceive themselves as larger than they really are," says Dr. Stewart." When we put forth efforts such as diet and exercise, and possibly other, less healthy behaviors, to achieve pop cultural ideals, we lose sight of realistic, health-based goals. The result is that we get frustrated and quit altogether," Dr. Stewart explains.

The answer?

"The first step is recognizing that the perception you have of your own body may be unreasonable," says Dr Stewart, a psychologist and faculty member at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. At Pennington, Dr. Stewart is conducting on-going research that explores how to combat body image disturbance and enact meaningful change. "Once we cultivate a more health-oriented, mindful perspective on our mind and body, we can live a healthier life and improve our overall quality of life," says Dr. Stewart.

"It's the difference between thriving and merely surviving," she says.

Body Image topics about which Dr. Stewart can speak include:

Body Image and Nutrition --Dieting vs. Eating Well, Thin vs. Healthy. March is National Nutrition Month.

Mental Health and Happiness --Body Image issues are often related to depression, anxiety, eating disorders and overall quality of life. Dr. Stewart can discuss how mindfulness and awareness can help us move from coping to thriving. May is National Mental Health Month.

Men and Body Image - Research shows that men, like 10 million American women, are suffering with body image issues. Increasingly unhappy with their own bodies, men are spending more time at the gym and obsessing about their bodies. What are signs that men may have difficulty with body image?

To schedule an interview with Dr. Stewart or to learn more about body image and the everyday effect it has on our lives, contact Ellie Rand at brandsbyrand(at)aol(dot)com.

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Ellie Rand

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