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Are You More Concerned About Your Appearance or Your Health?

We all feel the societal pressure for women to look a certain way, and that way is thin. Thin, however, doesn't always mean healthy, and according to a new poll conducted by the Associated Press and iVillage, women value their appearance more than their health. In the poll, many women answered that they were unhappy with their appearance and were dieting, but few were eating the recommended five servings a day of fruits and veggies. On the exercise front, the median amount of weekly exercise was an hour and 20 minutes — well under the recommended two and a half hours of weekly exercise.

Chief of psychiatry at New York's Lennox Hill Hospital Molly Poag weighed in on the poll's results by saying, "There's an undervaluing of physical fitness and an overvaluing of absolute weight and appearance for women in our culture." She added that she believes female athletes are better role models for healthy living than supermodels.

I am curious about you and when it comes to your body . . .

Join The Conversation
theupsidedowncat theupsidedowncat 8 years
I am concerned about the hard mad work it takes.
Monique-Marie427757 Monique-Marie427757 8 years
I am concerned about both because I am currently undergoing treatments and I am also concerned with my appearance as well because I do not want people to start screaming when they see me, LOL. So, I am currently working on both right now.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
I work out as much for my mental health as for my physical well being. Looking good gives me confidence and boosts my self esteem, so yes, my primary focus when I work out is appearance.
CarmenP CarmenP 8 years
I am concerned about both. I voted health though, because when you're healthy you often look the best.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I know health wise I am pretty okay and do a good job of keeping myself in check. If anything I am more considered about my looks as I get older, pre mature wrinkles, eeeeeeeeeek!
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
I'm with a few other people here and wish I could have chosen both... I ended up choosing health because I am asthmatic and I've noticed since I put on about 30 lbs in the last 5 years my asthma has gotten progressively worse. Not to mention that this 30 lbs does a number on my self confidence/image, which triggers my depression, which triggers insomnia for me, both very unhealthy things. I've never wanted to be rail thin, and even being overweight now I still wear bikinis (what other people think is THEIR problem, not mine). I like my curves... But as I get heavier they disappear! It's also awesome to be able to ride 20 (or more) miles in a day and still be up for a BBQ that night! I also worry about the state of my health before I decide to have kids. The last thing I want is to be an unhealthy/inactive mom... I remember doing so many things with my active mom, and many of my friends didn't have those experiences because their moms were unhealthy. And guess what? They ended up being unhealthy people too! So I worry about solidifying good habits now so I can pass them on. Being gorgeous is just a great side effect.
audrina audrina 8 years
Although I am concerned about both of these issues, health comes first. When I was in my twenties and thirties, appearance was definitely #1. But now into my 40's I am highly concerned with my health as my mom has cancer and it terrifies me to no end. There is so much cancer and diseases these days, that I cannot help but try to eat healthy, stay active and go to the doctor alot.
opentypeA opentypeA 8 years
Wow, it's really hard to admit that i am more concerned about my appearance! But it's the truth. Maybe admitting it is the first step?
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I recently improved my diet & exercise habits due to health reasons & quickly lost the ten pounds I'd put on since high school. I am thrilled with my appearance now, but I never would have gotten in better shape without the motivation of the health problem. Ten extra pounds didn't seem like a good enough reason to give up garlic bread and ice cream.
tarall10 tarall10 8 years
For me, they go hand in hand. I only feel attractive when I'm being healthy (eating healthy food, being active, not drinking a lot). I picked health over appearance only because about a year ago I discovered that I have borderline high blood pressure, and now, I want to do what's right for my heart, and for my body, which matters a lot more to me than what I look like. The added bonus is of course, the healthier you are, the better you look.
Pistil Pistil 8 years
I want to die beautiful j/k Honestly though, I am more concerned about my appearance. I'm not terribly unhealthy, but I definitely invest more time and money in vanity.
laellavita laellavita 8 years
I try to place the greater emphasis of my exercise on health, but I'd be lying if I said appearance wasn't a factor. I want to look good, but most importantly, I want to feel good, too.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I think I'd have to say both, but health is more important to me. Like goatimpact, I lost my grandpa to heart disease when I was younger and it really opened my eyes to how much better of a life he could have had if he had been more proactive about his health. So my primary focus is my health, but I also really like the added benefit of looking good as well. I think in most cases, if you focus on health, a good appearance is sort of a natural side-effect.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Both equally. It's important to me that I feel good and look good. One can have both. They're NOT mutually exclusive.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 8 years
I chose health but I now realize I lied. I *am* concerned with health for pretty much the same reason as Syako. I don't necessarily want to live longer... I want to live *healthier*. However, the skin care products, make-up, pricey clothing I buy has nothing to do with health... sooooooo..... I may invest more in my appearance than I do my health.
MrsRachel MrsRachel 8 years
Ultimately it is about "appearing" healthy!
MrsRachel MrsRachel 8 years
I'm going to say appearance....because right now my motivation is not to look fat.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 8 years
I'd love to say it was health, but I'm definitely more preoccupied with maintaining a certain size than I am with maintaining health. The good news is that my health benefits from all the exercise anyway even if that's not why I'm doing it.
LindsayLou LindsayLou 8 years
If "both" was an option I would've chosen that. I think if you're a healthy person than you are an attractive person, in my opinion.
sourcherry sourcherry 8 years
My health. I mean, thinking about bikinis gets my butt to the gym, obviously, but I'm more concerned about my physical condition when I'm older. That's my real motivator. If I'm not in good shape in my 20's, how do I expect to be fit and active when I'm 50?
starofsorrow starofsorrow 8 years
Right now, I'm more concerned with my appearance because obviously I am overweight to the point where I can be considered obese, and I do need to lose a lot of weight. I think once I start getting to the point where I don't have to worry about my appearance so much because I'm becoming healthier, I'll focus more on my health.
syako syako 8 years
I've thought about this a lot, especially while I'm running-go figure-, and ultimately when I run I'm not thinking about how I'll look in a bikini, but I am thinking about how when I'm 80 years old, I hope I'm still active, whether that's walking or doing water aerobics (since at 80 I believe running possibly will be out of the question), I'm always hoping that health will continue to be my personal top priority. So while appearance is definitely a "concern" ultimately I'd rather live to be really old and really healthy than stress about cellulite.
goatimpact goatimpact 8 years
Although I care about my appearance, I work out for my health. I'm a little off put by suggestions in the comments that those of us that chose health are lying. I lost my Dad to heart disease when I was in my teens and it's important to me to take care of myself so I can be around longer for my future kids. Looking better is just an added benefit but the thing that makes me actually go out and run is keeping my heart in good shape, not my legs.
1apple 1apple 8 years
Appearance wins out for me, though I am certainly concerned about my health now and in the future. Improvement in my looks are what motivates me to eat healthfully and work out, and though it might not morally be the best motivator, it does the trick!
Allytta Allytta 8 years
ayu, the question wasn't "what comes first: intellegance, maturity, looks or health"
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