MENTAL HEALTH

Utah ranks fifth in nation for body image issues

Mar 6, 2024, 9:58 AM

Utahns struggle with body image...

FILE - This Tuesday, April 3, 2018 file photo shows a closeup of a beam scale in New York. June 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File) ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Many Utahns are struggling with their body image. Utah ranked fifth in the nation for body image issues. 

The mental health website mindwings.com tracked monthly Google searches for terms like weight loss, dieting and workouts to see which states reported the biggest increase in searches.

“There’s a lot of social media influencers in Utah. You see a lot of women and people pursuing weight loss and cosmetic procedures. I do wonder what impact it has locally and in our state,” said Ashlee Hunt, a Utah therapist who works with eating disorder patients.

Hunt recommends that if you find yourself feeling bad about yourself when you see certain people’s posts, it’s time to unfollow. Additionally, Hunt thinks social pressure in Utah that could contribute to body image issues.

“For whatever reason Utah tends to have quite a perfectionistic culture,” said Hunt.

According to Hunt, problems with body image often stem from other emotional issues. In many cases, it takes a lot of work to get to the root of the problem. However, Hunt offered a starting point to help the influence we have on others.

“We need to think about how we talk about our bodies and other people’s bodies. We may think those things are harmless especially if we point out something positive on someone’s body. It’s still the focus on the body,” said Hunt.

According to mind.com, the top five states at risk for body image issues are North Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Maine and Utah. 

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Utah ranks fifth in nation for body image issues