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Mizzou Advantage researchers delve into body image

August 22, 2012

Last year, theater Profesor Suzanne Burgoyne and journalism Professor María E. Len-Ríos collaborated to lead Food for Thought: Food, Body Image and the Media, a Mizzou Advantage undergraduate research team to study the intersection of body image and technology. Now, the two have worked to release a new study on findings on the same topic.

Story by MU School of Journalism 

When it comes to college-age individuals taking care of their bodies, appearance is more important than health, research conducted at the University of Missouri suggests.

María Len-Ríos, an associate professor of strategic communication, Suzanne Burgoyne, a professor of theater, and a team of undergraduate researchers studied how college-age women view their bodies and how they feel about media messages aimed at women. Based on focus group research findings, the MU team developed an interactive play about body image to encourage frank discussions about conflicting societal messages regarding weight, values and healthful choices.

“During our focus group conversations, we learned that young people don’t think about nutrition when it comes to eating,” Len-Ríos said. “They think more about calorie-counting, which isn’t necessarily related to a balanced diet.”  More