Their Attitude Is Healthy

Let’s say an FDA-approved pill could make you fit without your having to exercise. Would you take it? In a poll of women commissioned by Health, 54 percent of respondents said they would. Fewer would take a pill that boosted their confidence/self-esteem (45 percent) or made them look better (36 percent). In the absence of quick fixes, majorities of women concede they could do a better job of getting regular exercise (70 percent), keeping their weight down (66 percent) and eating a healthy diet (66 percent). Although 70 percent feel a healthy diet “can prevent almost every type of illness,” 69 percent often “eat food that is bad for them because they enjoy unhealthy food.” That helps explain why 27 percent said food “is often a source of guilt.” It’s not as though respondents are in the thrall of a rail-thin ideal of womanhood. As the chart indicates, they differ sharply from what they perceive as the media’s definition of female beauty. Still, 92 percent believe women “spend far too much time worrying about the way they look.”