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Repeated exposure to the thin ideal and implications for the self: Two weight loss program studies

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Abstract

Exposure to thin models results in self-esteem shifts that influence people's motivation to diet. This research study applies a goal perspective to explain the effect of exposure to thin models on dieters' motivation to lose weight. Two (one-week) weight loss program studies that included treatment conditions in which participants were repeatedly exposed to either a thin model or to control conditions with either a neutral dieting-related cue (Study 1) or a normal-sized model (Study 2) were conducted. Female participants who were exposed to the thin model perceived their dieting goals as less attainable, engaged in more goal-inconsistent behavior (i.e., consuming unhealthy snacks), and had less success losing weight. The effect of exposure to thin models on weight loss success is mediated specifically by the perceived attainability of the thin ideal. 

    Research areas

  • Thinness ideal, Exposure to models, Self-concept, Goal attainability, SOCIAL-COMPARISON PROCESSES, DIETARY RESTRAINT, MEDIA MODELS, GOAL, IMAGES, BODY, CONSUMPTION, MOTIVATION, ESTEEM, WOMEN
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Marketing
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012