Women's health * Healthy living * Weight loss

A body to die for

Women would trade years off their lives for perfect body Women would give up years of their lives for a perfect body

Nearly one in three women in the UK would be willing to give up at least one year of their life to achieve the perfect body shape, according to a new poll.

And one in 100 would be happy to trade more than 20 years of life to get the perfect shape.

Some 320 women aged between 18 and 65 at UK universities were surveyed by researchers at the University of West England.

According to the results, model Kelly Brook had the body the women most aspired to, followed by Beyonce, Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson.

As well as giving up years of their lives, it seems that the women of the UK would be happy to trade just about anything to get the perfect shape.

Thirteen per cent of those questioned said they would be willing to forego a £5000 reduction in their annual salary, a promotion at work (8%), a first class honours degree (6%), spending time with their partner (9%), spending time with their friends (9%) and even their health (7%).

Half of the women surveyed thought more needed to be done on their university campus to promote a healthy body image.

Despite most being within the normal weight range, nearly four out of five women said that they would like to lose weight. More than nine out of ten of the women surveyed reported that they had negative thoughts about their appearance during the past week.

And nearly half said that they had been ridiculed or bullied because of their appearance.

On average, the women said they wanted to lose more than a stone in weight. Only three per cent said they wanted to gain weight.

Many of the women questioned were willing to consider "going under the knife" to get the body they desired, with 40 per cent saying that they would have cosmetic surgery if money wasn't a factor.

Three quarters of the women said they would be willing to undergo multiple surgical procedures.

Dr Phillippa Diedrichs of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE carried out the survey on behalf of the The Succeed Foundation, a charity dedicated to raising awareness and providing support for those affected by eating disorders.

This article was published on Thu 31 March 2011

Image © Gabi Moisa - Fotolia.com

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