Body Appreciation and Health Care Avoidance: A Brief Report


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Research suggests that body image is related to health behaviors and health care use, but possible mechanisms for this relationship remain unclear. The current study examined the presence of a relationship between body appreciation and avoiding the doctor to avoid being weighed, using a diverse sample of women (N = 499). Controlling for body size and determinants of health care utilization, logistic regression results suggested that women with higher body appreciation were less likely to avoid health care to avoid being weighed (odds ratio = 0.38, p < .001). In addition, differences in avoiding the doctor to avoid being weighed were found for the covariates (that is, age, race, body mass index, and socioeconomic status). These results inform knowledge regarding barriers to health care use and the relationship between body image and health care use. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications for future research, social work interventions, and social work education to promote women's health and well-being.

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