Positive body image and young women's health: Implications for sun protection, cancer screening, weight loss and alcohol consumption behaviours

J Health Psychol. 2016 Jan;21(1):28-39. doi: 10.1177/1359105314520814. Epub 2014 Feb 14.


This study examined the link between positive body image and a range of health behaviours. Participants were 256 women who completed an online questionnaire measuring body appreciation, body dissatisfaction, sun protection, cancer screening, seeking medical attention, weight-loss behaviour and alcohol and tobacco consumption. Results indicated that body appreciation was positively related to sun protection, skin screening and seeking medical attention and negatively related to weight-loss behaviour. Body appreciation explained unique variance, over and above body dissatisfaction, in sun protection, skin screening and weight-loss behaviour. These results have implications for interventions to improve adherence to health behaviours.

Keywords: body appreciation; cancer; health behaviour; sun protection; women’s health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Sunscreening Agents*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss*
  • Women's Health*
  • Young Adult


  • Sunscreening Agents