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Survey Finds Good Body Image Tied to Happier Relationships

Update Date: Dec 09, 2013 01:59 PM EST

Due to media concentration on tall and slim bodies, body image issues have risen over the years. Men and women of all ages can be negatively affected by body size, which could lead to both physical and mental health issues. In order to combat eating disorders and mental health issues, campaigns have been focused on teaching young children how to appreciate their bodies and treat them well. In a new study, researchers reported another reason why people should work hard in building a healthy mindset about body image. In this survey, the researchers found that people with better body image also had happier relationships.

For this survey, researcher Sabina Vatter, a postgraduate student at Tallinn University in Estonia and colleagues interviewed women participants who were in a relationship. The survey focused on body image, weight and satisfaction in their relationships. A total of around 250 women were surveyed and the researchers discovered that healthy body image and happy relationships went hand in hand. The sample set composed of women between 20 and 45-years-old. Around 71 percent of them were living with their partners and 29 percent were married.

"When a woman was satisfied with her relationship, she was also satisfied with her body weight, which also applies vice versa," Vatter said according to HealthDay. "Higher body-weight satisfaction results in higher satisfaction with a relationship. This shows that body and body weight can create general satisfaction, which would be forwarded to feelings for a romantic partner."

The researchers found that women who dieted more often than others tended to be less satisfied about their weight and body image. The researchers explained that women who diet tend to have more extreme viewpoints on body image. These types of women might have a harder time accepting and loving their own bodies even if their bodies are normal. Their body image issues contributed to their low self-esteems, which then affected their satisfaction levels when it came to sexual intimacy.

"In order to feel good and happy in a relationship, one should have positive feelings toward their body and feel comfortable in their body, because without this a woman might feel dissatisfaction toward the relationship," Vatter stated.

The study's findings will be presented at the British Psychological Society Meeting in York, England.

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