Weight Loss Ads Backfire for Women
We all know by now that regular exercise helps pare off pounds. Ironically, however, ads that tout weight loss as a benefit of physical activity actually tend to make women less likely to get up off the couch. What's more, the sermonizing can do a number on a woman's already poor body image. Yet men have the opposite reaction. They typically respond well to pitches that promise weight loss and better health as a result of working out.
Those are the findings of a study published in the Journal of Obesity. The investigators concluded that a better approach to convincing women to get moving would be to hold out the promise of overall well-being. Lead author Michelle Segar of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan and colleagues wrote: "Framing physical activity as a way to enhance daily well-being positively influenced [female] participants’ perceptions about the experience of being physically active and enhanced body image among overweight women. . . Thus, framing physical activity primarily for health benefits, as is typically done, might undermine participation because exercising to improve health may exert pressure, even unconsciously . . . These findings support a growing body of research suggesting that, compared to weight loss, framing physical activity for daily well-being is a better gain-frame message for overweight women in midlife."
How about you? What would it take to get you to stick with an exercise regimen? We hope you'll figure that out for yourself and then do your body, mind, and soul the favor of starting – or continuing -- to lead an active lifestyle!