Please note: The Body Image section of our website is under review. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on body image.
Women’s Health Action believes body image is a critical health issue, particularly for women and girls. Recent research has linked poor body image and body dissatisfaction with a higher risk of depression, bullying, eating disorders, reduced physical activity, poorer sexual health, diminished sexual negotiation, risk-taking behaviors including increased drinking and smoking, and lower self-esteem.1
Youth and Body image
The results of the Youth 2012 Health and Wellbeing of New Zealand secondary school students survey2 provide valuable insight into how young people, in particular, feel about their bodies and weight. A third of young women (31.6%) are unhappy or very unhappy about their weight, with the levels of unhappiness increasing in the later years of secondary school. Over one in 10 young men are also unhappy or very unhappy about their weight. In addition, three-quarters of young women (75.5%) and nearly a half of young men (42.3%) are worried about gaining weight and similar numbers have attempted weight loss in the past 12 months. The survey also identified high levels of weight-based bullying. Over a third of young women (33.7%), and a quarter of young men (24.3%) reported having been teased by other young people about their weight. A similar number of young women (33.2%) and 16.4% of young men have been teased about their weight by family members.
Creating positive body image and body diversity
Women’s Health Action believes it is possible to support and celebrate positive body image and body diversity. We believe we can do this by;
- Increasing the understanding of the health, media, education and community sectors of body image as a determinant of health and wellbeing
- Building capacity, educating and resourcing schools, communities, media, and the health and youth sectors to support and celebrate positive body image and diversity
- Advocating for an approach to health that is focused on wellbeing rather than weight and addresses weight and size based discrimination
We are committed to using youth development principles to support body image leaders to facilitate safe and celebratory schools and community spaces. We also work with teachers, counselors, nurses and youth workers to help them unpack body image, critical media literacy, appearance-based bullying and self-esteem with young people.
For specialised eating difficulties and eating issues counselling, please contact the following and/or see your general practitioner who can refer you to appropriate services.Perry King, BTheol, PGDip Couns.Perry works collaboratively to support individuals in finding their way through the challenges and the difficulties they face and find hard to resolve. She assists people to look at the underlying issues and thought processes that have triggered and maintained the disordered eating. Perry has a Bachelor of Theology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling. Guided by the ideas and practices of Narrative Therapy Perry also draws on a wide range of experience and training in personal development, spirituality and healing practices. Phone: 021 778 392Email: email@example.comLocation: North Shore, Auckland.
Victoria MarsdenBA, PG Dipl Tchng, MCouns (hons), MNZACVictoria has a Masters Degree in Counselling from Waikato University and is a full member of NZAC. She has worked with adults and adolescents in a variety of settings; as a counsellor, teacher, and facilitator. She has specialised in disordered eating counselling since 2007. Therapeutically, Victoria works collaboratively and narratively to build a trusting counselling relationship with clients and values the experiences and resources of the individual. She is committed to exploring the influence an eating difficulty might be having on a person’s life and identifying ways to move away from its demands. Victoria enjoys accompanying clients on their journey towards a life more open to choice, possibility, and hope.Phone: 021 122 4221Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLocation: Parnel, Auckland.
Jane TyrerGrad Dip Couns, Dip CounsellingJane Tyrer was the founding coordinator of the Eating Difficulties Education Network (EDEN). Jane works with a broad range of concerns including eating and body image issues, trauma and abuse, depression, grief and loss, and exploring life’s challenges. In relation to eating issues, she sees value in supporting people to move from an evaluative (often critical) view of their bodies to a more appreciative relationship and also to imagine and enjoy life beyond eating issues. Jane completed a Diploma in Holistic Counselling in 1990 and in 2009 a Graduate Diploma in Narrative Counselling (Unitec), she is currently a provisional member of NZAC.Phone: 027 200 6166Email: email@example.comLocation: Westmere & Titirangi, Auckland
1Ali et al, 2010; Commonwealth Office on the Status of Women, 2003; Cussins, 2001; Grant et al, 1999; Farhat et al, 2011; Larson, 2011; Leone et al, 2011; Muennig et al, 2008; Neumark-Sztainer et al, 2006; Women’s Health Victoria, 2008.
2Clark, T.C., Fleming, T., Bullen, P., Crengle, S., Denny, S., Dyson, B., Fortune, S., Peiris-John, R., Robinson, E., Rossen, F., Sheridan, J., Teevale, T., Utter, J., & The Adolescent Health Research Group (2013). Youth’12 Prevalence Tables: The health and wellbeing of New Zealand secondary school students in 2012. Auckland, New Zealand; The University of Auckland.