Weight discrepancy and body appreciation of Zimbabwean women in Zimbabwe and Britain

Viren Swami*, Rujeko Mada, Martin J. Tovée

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Few studies have investigated a cultural group's corporeal experiences in both its country of origin and a host, Western country using the same methodology. To overcome this dearth in the literature, the present study examined body image among 140 women in Harare, Zimbabwe, and an age-matched sample of 138 Zimbabwean migrants in Britain. Participants completed measures of actual-ideal weight discrepancy, body appreciation, and lifetime exposure to Western and Zimbabwean media. Preliminary analyses showed that there were no significant differences in body mass index between the two groups. Further analyses showed that Zimbabwean women in Britain had significantly greater weight discrepancy and lower body appreciation than their counterparts in Zimbabwe. In addition, weight discrepancy and body appreciation among both samples were significantly associated with exposure to Western media, but not Zimbabwean media. These findings support the contention that transcultural migration may place individuals at risk for symptoms of negative body image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-562
Number of pages4
JournalBody Image
Issue number4
Early online date18 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


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