Health and Social Care Select Committee publishes new report on body image

9th Aug 2022
Influencing policies
Body image

The Health and Social Care Select Committee has published its report on the impact of body image on mental and physical health.

The report draws on evidence that the Mental Health Foundation provided through the Committee’s call for written evidence and through an appearance at one of the Committee’s oral evidence sessions.

The Foundation has been advocating for the government to do more to protect people’s body image since 2019, when we produced a report for Mental Health Awareness Week on how we think and feel about our bodies.

Our extensive work on body image now includes tips to maintain a positive body image, advice for parents to help protect their child’s body image and new research into the impact of image-editing apps on mental health.

The Committee’s report echoes our recommendation for the government to create a cross-government strategy to tackle the drivers of poor body image.

Elsewhere in the report, the Committee endorses our recommendation that the government should provide further training on body image for professionals interacting with parents, such as GPs and health visitors.

The Committee also makes welcome recommendations on improving the regulation of non-surgical cosmetic practitioners and on shifting the government’s obesity strategy to focus on the environmental causes of unhealthy weight gain, rather than on strategies that increase the stigma of obesity.

We are now calling on the government to accept these recommendations in full and to treat the issue of poor body image with the seriousness it deserves.

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