Body image perception and satisfaction among Indian women residing in UK and Singapore




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Peer reviewed



Women from the same ethnic background should not differ much regarding body shape. Nonetheless, living in a different country may contribute to differences in body image perception and satisfaction. Hence, the aim of this study is to contrast views on perceived and ideal body shapes of Indian women residing in UK and Singapore (SG) by using the Swami et al. (2008) photographic figure rating scale. Women from both countries reported age, height, weight, perceived and ideal body shapes. This sample was composed by 98 UK aged 18-30 years (mean=21.8y, SD=2.96) and 90 SG women aged 21-48years (mean=28.1y, SD=7.91). Mann-Whitney test assessed country differences regarding continuous variables. SG participants were in average older though, SG and UK women did not significantly differ in BMI, which in average was within normal values. Both groups perceived their shape as Overweight and wished for a slimmer figure within the Normal BMI category. There were no country significant differences for perceived shape and shape discrepancy. On the other hand, British women (mean=3.66) indicated a slimmer ideal shape in contrast with Singaporeans (mean=4.10; p<.05). This preference for a slimmer figure by UK women was no longer evident when contrasting with a SG sub-sample aged up to 30 years (n=61). In conclusion, in this small comparative study and regardless of BMI, UK Indian women ideally favoured a slimmer figure in contrast with Indian women living in SG. However, body image perception and satisfaction were similar among younger Indian women living in two culturally divergent countries.



Body image, Ethnicity


Santos-Merx, L., Samuelsson, L. (2019). Body image perception and satisfaction among Indian women residing in UK and Singapore, Abstracts of the 43rd meeting of the British Feeding and Drinking Group. Appetite,


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research