Washington, Apr 25 (ANI): Forget dieting and gruelling exercise regime - just have a positive image of your body and you'll be able to shrink your waist line and kick the butt, say researchers.
The research team from Temple University has shown that positive body image is more effective than exercise in helping young women lose weight and quit smoking.
The study showed that one in five women between the ages of 18 and 24 are smokers, and most say they keep lighting up for fear of gaining weight.
Its suggests that a little bit of dialogue and support can be more effective than an exercise plan in helping women not only keep off the weight, but also stay smoke-free.
"A lot of college-age women report smoking to keep their weight down and for body image reasons, and we think that by providing them with the tools to make them feel better about themselves, it alleviates some of those stressors," said Melissa Napolitano, a clinical psychologist at Temple's Center for Obesity Research and Education.
In a small pilot study of 24 women called Fit to Quit, the participants were randomly assigned to either a supervised group exercise program or body image group counselling sessions. All women were provided with a nicotine patch as well.
"Smoking has psychological and psychosocial implications, especially for young women," said Napolitano.
"We wanted to design a program that would not only address the physical addiction by providing a nicotine patch, but would also address those social and behavioral aspects as well," she added.
The findings were presented at the Society for Behavioral Medicine's annual meeting. (ANI)