A negative body image can lead to eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem. And now we have something else to worry about -- a negative body image is being linked with increased tobacco use and alcohol use among young men and young women.
A body image expert along with an assistant professor from the University of Missouri also found that girls who believe they are very good looking are more likely to drink alcohol, so perceived size and attractiveness were significantly related to substance use.
Alternatively, teen girls who think they're too fat are more likely to smoke and drink. Boys who think they're too skinny are more likely to smoke while boys who considered themselves fat were more likely to binge drink.
To improve body image awareness, the authors suggest that parents, schools and health providers be aware of body shaming language and correct the behavior to help our kids.