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Body Image ‘I want a six-pack like Ronaldo’

About a half of young Swiss people don’t like their bodies, according to a recent study. (SRF/swissinfo.chexternal link)

Around 400 teenagers aged 13-17 participated in the survey, conducted by Health Promotion Switzerland (HPS), which is funded by the health insurance system.

The study is part of a long-term project addressing the problem of unrealistic body image, which the authors blame on teenagers’ over exposure to unrealistic images and unhealthy body ideals, particularly through social media. It’s a cause for concern as experts say low self-esteem can lead to depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

HPS discovered that about 44% of adolescent boys were unhappy with their bodies. Most thought they were too weedy. 77% said they would like more muscles.

When it came to teenage girls, 65% of 13- to 17-year-olds disliked their bodies. The main preoccupation is weight. Around 60% think they are fat. Most of the girls questioned do sport to lose weight. About a third had already been on a diet. About one in ten admitted to throwing up after eating.

Swiss public television, SRF, asked teenagers in Bern what they would like to change about their bodies, if anything.