Brain scans of healthy women reveals fear of fat

A group of women in a new study seems unlikely to have problems with body image – at least their responses on a projection tried-and-true psychological showed no red flags.The motivation for this new study was to establish a reference point between a control group of women who scored in the range of healthier eating disorder diagnostic tests. Surprisingly, even the control group showed what Allen calls sub-clinical body image problems.

It ‘s like the plant in my office, he continued It has the potential for growth in every direction, but in reality only increases in the direction of the window -. The direction that receives the most reinforcement.

Allen has made its report to the graduates Tyler and Diane Owens, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University Spangler in the May issue of the journal Psychological personality and individual differences.

Even if the brain activity of these women do not look like a mess full of food, are much closer than men, Allen said.

Many women learn that physical appearance and thinness is what is important about them and their brain responds to reflect, said Spangler. I think this is a misunderstanding and miserable to know oneself and not to an increased risk for eating and mood disorders.

If the alien has come to be overweight and women, surprisingly active in the area of ​​the female brain that processes of identity and self-reflection. The men showed no signs of self-reflection in similar situations.

Spangler said that women are bombarded with messages that perpetuate the thin ideal, and the dam is changing the way they see.

Spangler and Allen collaborate on a long term project to improve the treatment of eating disorders by tracking progress with brain imaging. Anorexic and bulimic women when they see a stranger in overweight, self-reflection from the center of the brain – known as the medial prefrontal cortex – light in ways that suggest extreme unhappiness and in some cases, self-denigration.