Published: July 31, 2020 10:30:38 pm
If technology has been responsible for most cases of a negative body image and even body dysmorphia, it is also responsible for starting a dialogue about body positivity. In this day and age, people are learning to love their own bodies, and all the natural curves and quirks that come with it.
A new study led by one Jennifer Todd of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has found a link with body positivity: gastric interoception, which refers to the processing of sensory stimuli originating in the gut, otherwise known as ‘gut feeling’. Published in the journal Body Image, the research carried out experiments on some 191 adults in the UK as well as in Malaysia, so as to have ‘culturally different national groups’ and to increase reliability.
The subjects had to complete a two-stage water load task, which involves fasting and then consuming water, to ascertain body positivity. The quantity of water consumed as per stomach capacity, as well as feelings and experiences related to the task were measured. The latter included answering questionnaires that examined difference aspects of body image such as appreciation of the body and its functionality.
“Our study shows a clear link between bodily awareness, in this case, the feeling of fullness, and body image. In other words, people who are more in tune with their body’s internal workings have a greater appreciation of their body in general,” Todd was quoted as saying.
The study found that a greater change in feeling in the gut upon drinking the water pointed to a significantly greater sense of the body’s physiological responses, and a greater appreciation for the body itself, in both the countries. “Individuals who are less in tune with internal stimuli, such as feeling full, could be more at risk of developing negative body image due to an over-reliance on external, appearance-related characteristics like size and shape,” Todd added.
“It is possible that body image can be promoted by encouraging people to be more aware of internal sensations…” she said.