Posts Tagged ‘mental-health’

It’s a given—if we keep breathing, we will get older. How do you feel about those years piling up? Do you perceive yourself as “old?”

Researchers questioned more than 900 women ages eighteen to eighty-seven from America, Britain, and Australia as to whether they succumbed to “old talk”—a term referring to body dissatisfaction resulting from physical signs of aging. Women were divided into four age groups. Nearly all women admitted to sometimes engaging in old talk. Surprisingly, nearly half the women in the youngest group (aged 18 to 29) occasionally fell into that category. As expected, old talk was more common in the two oldest groups, women aged forty-six or older.

What about you? Do you freak out over one gray hair or crow’s feet growing around your eyes? If you dwell on bodily appearance and perceive yourself as becoming old, it can affect mental and physical health. Body dissatisfaction correlates with eating disorders, depression, decreased quality of life, and more negative feelings than pleasant ones.

We are an age-conscious culture, especially women. Society may consider older men as distinguished or handsome, but not so with women. A civilized society may base old talk on a false identity of looking like a younger generation. Most U. S. magazines choose models between ages eighteen and thirty. As we naturally become older—through the process of aging—we physically move away from that ideal of flawless skin, glossy hair, and trim figures perpetuated by media. Yet many women tend to hold on to that image. This may help account for the five percent growth in cosmetic surgery from 2011 to 2012. Anti-aging procedures led the way in that increase.

We can’t change the number of years we have lived. Chronological age continues. But we can change the way we think. Positive attitudes can help us remain younger both physically and mentally.

While this study had nothing to do with nutrition, what we eat does influence the aging process. Eating well helps to maintain quality of life into later years. Proper nutrition causes us to feel and look better. But it probably isn’t going to do much for those gray hairs.

Reference:  http://www.jeatdisord.com/content/1/1/6

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