Gender, Food Choices, and Body Image: The Intersections of Health, Behavior and Beauty

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Gul Muhammad BALOCH, Taylor's University, School of Medicine, Malaysia
This research investigates the relationship between gender, ethnicity, eating habits, food choices and body image among the Malaysian youth with age range of 17 to 35 year. Total sample size was 309 (Malays 148, Chinese 103, Indians 53 and 5 from other ethnicities) where 195 were female and 114 were male. Questionnaire was adapted from the Eating Attitude Test-26 (EAT-26), the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ), the Body Image-Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (BI-AAQ) and the Figure Rating Scale (FRS) to explore the differences in perception among ethnicity regarding body image as well the differences in perception among gender regarding body image and eating habits. The association between body image and eating habits was also assessed. Findings showed that more females preferred slimmer bodies. Results also suggest that Indians had a higher body satisfaction as compared to the other two races. We also looked into the respondents’ fear of gaining weight and practicing unhealthy eating habits

My research interests are, generally, in the areas Social & Behavioural Sciences, Gender, Sociology of Health, Health Psychology, Public Health, and Qualitative Research. Funnelling down a bit, I am interested into understanding the dynamics of social and cultural contexts for the determinants of health and healthy lifestyle at individual and community level. It is not the bacteria and viruses only that determine the health conditions, but social, tribal, religious and ‘patriarchal’ paradigms also regulate the outcomes and indicators for health conditions. For example how ‘institutional patriarchy’ affects the maternal health, how sexual orientation is treated and approached by the institution of religion and how violence against women affects the physical and mental health of women, especially in Asian underdeveloped countries.

I would be eagerly looking to have discussions, interaction, and get guidance from the seasoned scholars in these areas of the intersections between sociology and health.