Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 23rd 2013 Contents The actress Helen Mirren, who is now in her late 60s,
is an example of an older woman who is comfortable
with her body image.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
BEAT THE RUSH! GE T YOUR
FREE GIFTS OF
HAM & GROG
The writer of the 1930s show tune lyrics,
"Keep young and beautiful, if you want to
be loved" was probably unaware that these
sentiments would resonate with so many
And the line, "It s your duty to be beau-
tiful," must seem like manna from heaven
to the billion dollar advertising and cosmetic
So it is hardly surprising that a new study
published in The Journal of Women & Aging
found the majority of women aged 50 and
older are still not happy with the way they
But instead of focusing on the negative,
this study focuses on the positive---those
who are happy with their body size---in an
attempt to unlock the secrets of satisfac-
Cristin Runfola, PhD, says: "Of course
the fact that so few women are satisfied
with their body size is concerning. But we
were interested in how some women remain
happy with their size and shape, given ubiq-
uitous social pressures to retain a youthful
thin appearance, and the influence of a
multibillion dollar anti-aging cosmetics
Using a sample of 1,789 American women
from the Gender and Body Image study
(GABI), researchers discovered that just over
12 per cent of participants reported they
were satisfied with their body size. Satis-
faction was defined as having a current
body size equal to their preferred size.
Research shows that women who are
happy with their body image are more likely
to take regular exercise and less likely to
have eating disorders.
This may not be something that comes
automatically. The researchers say that those
midlife women appear to have to make a
concerted effort to both achieve and main-
tain this satisfaction.
But the women who felt good about
themselves had lower body mass indices and reported
fewer eating disorder symptoms. They were also
more likely to take regular exercise than dissatisfied
Cynthia Bulik, director of the University of North
Carolina s Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders
and co-author of the study, says this does not mean
that they are delighted with every aspect of their
"They are not impervious to dissatisfaction with
other aspects of their physical appearance; especially
those aspects affected by aging."
The appearance of their skin caused the most
upset, with almost 80 per cent of the women citing
this as a cause for concern, followed by their stom-
aches (56 per cent) and faces (54 per cent).
In addition, weight monitoring and appearance-
altering behaviors (including cosmetic surgery) were
the same between satisfied and dissatisfied groups,
showing that weight and shape still play a considerable
part in women s self-evaluation.
Prof Bulik adds: "Our findings underscore the need
for a multi-faceted approach to studying and assessing
body image in women as they mature, as their bodies
undergo constant age-related change."
Body image satisfaction in middle-aged women
Continued from Page B5
Although Alzheimer s disease can only be confirmed
by an autopsy, clinicians can now diagnose Alzheimer s
disease with up to 90 per cent accuracy. Diagnosing
"probable" Alzheimer s disease involves taking a com-
plete medical history and conducting lab tests, a physical
exam, neuro-psychological tests that gauge memory,
attention, language skills and problem-solving abilities,
and brain scans.
10 Don t just take the diagnosis and run
Maximise your visit to a physician by asking questions
• What other tests should I take?
• Should I see a neurologist, geriatrician or other spe-
• How does the disease progress?
• What are all the available treatments, and their effec-
tiveness in terms of helping to slow progression of
• Do the medications come in different forms (liquid,
• Are there clinical drug trials that would be appropriate
• Besides medication, are there behavioural interventions
and lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise and
mental activities that might help?
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