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Shocking survey finds women put their weight and body image above their health

Do you care more about how you look than if you're healthy?

A study has shown that women are SIX times more likely to prioritise their weight or body image than their health.

In a survey of 1,000 men and women aged between 15-34, health site Make Your Switch found that 44% of the women surveyed often worried about their weight or body image, and only 7% were concerned about their health.

It also found that two thirds of the people surveyed were damaging their long-term health by ignoring negative side-effects that came with their weight loss or dieting.

Women are six times more likely to worry about their weight than their health (Credit: Getty Images)

Even more shockingly, 38% of those were willing to sacrifice their mental health through extreme dieting if it meant they could achieve their ideal weight.

A staggering 27.6% of the people surveyed were diagnosed with insomnia, 22.4% said they experienced frequent dizziness, and 15% were found to have heart disease.

Possibly most shockingly of all, 86 of the women surveyed had stopped having periods due to extreme dieting.

Lauren Goodger is famous for her yo-yo dieting

But what could be causing people to put their looks before their health?

Well Make Your Switch believe that celebrity endorsements of faddy diets and weight-loss aide and social media trends such as the thigh gap and the A4 paper challenge (where girls were holding a piece of paper in front of their waists to compare themselves to it) are largely to blame.

In fact, 28% of the people they spoke to admitted to being influenced by these kinds of unhealthy trends.

Talking about the findings, psychologist and Make Your Switch founder Emma Kenny (who also happens to be a Closer columnist!), said: "It's very sad, but unsurprising that young men and women are willing to take such risks with their mental and physical well-being these days.

"There is so much emphasis placed on women's bodies and the 'perfection expectation'. From a very young age, children are being told that the way they look is more important than any other trait.

"The body shaming that regularly takes place on social media, along with the 'beautiful equals successful' equation, gives women a very powerful message - that they are only valued for their looks. This means that men and women are more likely to be willing to harm themselves if it means gaining approval.

Some of those people surveyed were influenced by social media trends such as the 'thigh gap' or the A4 paper challenge (Credit: Getty Images)

"We need to build women's self-esteem beyond that of superficial beauty and into something that is more than just skin-deep."

We completely agree with Emma's comments - it should always be what's inside that counts.

Do you empathise with any of these statistics? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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Closer magazine cover