Central YMCA launches 'body image' exam

 
scales The body image qualification could be available to UK secondary schools from next year

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The Central YMCA is announcing plans for a UK qualification in body image.

Central YMCA Qualifications (CYQ) says the award - body image and the relationship to well-being - will cover topics such as body image in the media, self-esteem, diet and exercise.

It aims to give young people aged 11 to 14 the tools they need to build a more positive body image.

The plans, backed by Olympian Zoe Smith, are being submitted to the exams regulator, Ofqual, for approval.

It is hoped the qualification will be rolled out in secondary schools in the UK from next year, possibly as part of PSHE (personal, social and health education) or free study periods.

The award may also be undertaken as part of informal education, for example, within youth groups.

In May, a committee of MPs recommended all schoolchildren should take part in compulsory body image and self-esteem lessons.

An inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on body image found that more than half of the public had a negative body image ,with girls as young as five now worried about how they looked.

Feeling good
Zoe Smith The qualification is backed by Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith

Olympian Zoe Smith, who has been subjected to unwanted comments through social media, is backing the qualification.

Miss Smith said: "Sports and exercise are one of the best ways of feeling good about yourself, but so many young people still feel uncomfortable about taking part, often because they are worried about what they look like.

"This qualification should help young people gain a better understanding of their body image and that exercise is for everyone, no matter what your body shape or size."

Caroline Nokes, chair of the APPG on body image, said: "We currently have a problem getting young people more active, and having a healthy relationship with food.

"Poor body image is part of the problem - if you don't value your body, then why would you look after it. Initiatives such as this which support holistic health and young people should be welcomed."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 75.

    This strikes me as being abjectly superficial – you are what you are, get over it.
    Kids are far too narcissistic as it is, aspiring to digitally enhanced photo-shopped ideals that only represent the ‘top’ half percentile.
    Good looks in themselves do not indicate a bell balanced personality, and from my personal experience, often suggest the exact opposite.
    Am I missing something?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 74.

    Dont believe the hype,it will make people more anxious,depressed.You are who you are...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 73.

    I like my body image. The mirror doesn't.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 72.

    I wonder why this has come about? Surely young people need to learn how to read, write and understand arithmetic to get on in life. Today it seems to be about what a person looks like - how sad and shallow society has become. And what a boring world it would be if we all looked the same.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 71.

    63 & 62 - Wow you two have just kind of missed the mark completely..

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 70.

    It's great to see what young people themselves actually think about this - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/13877119
    It's all good!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 69.

    68. Conner De Public

    Actually poor body image is a real topic that effects Britain. In some cases it can lead to eating disorders, depression etc, all of which have an effect on individuals, society and are a massive cost to the NHS.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 68.

    Central YMCA launches 'body image' exam.

    Lets not have a discussion on the real topics effecting Britain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 67.

    pfft, What next an exam for being watching paint dry? This exam is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 66.

    The sad question,is,who decides, who is perfect?And who decides who is the perfect judge to pick the perfect person?
    Teenagers have a difficult time growing up.
    But an awful lot of adults had exactly the same problem.
    There is nothing new in this story.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 65.

    It's probably time to show the youngsters a selection of articles over a year or two from certain magazines and newspapers.

    Person X loses weight and looks awful.
    Person X gains weight and looks like a pig.

    Buying these mags just feeds the bad body image industry.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 64.

    It annoys me how boys are made to feel as if they need a six pack or girls are made to feel as if the need to be size zero and have big breasts, while it is good to be healthy you should try and be healthy because of the health benefits, not because of your appearance.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 63.

    A young woman obsessively makes herself grotesquely over-muscled in order to win an Olympic medal. The YMCA seriously propose her as suitable role model for people who don't like the way they look.

    I look forward to seeing this discussed in Have I Got News For You. At least they don't have to get their comments past a reactive HYS moderator!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 62.

    Hmm not convinced -making people aware of why they have poor body image doesn't mean they will actually do what is needed to sort it. And leaving school with qualifications in flimsy subjects won't exactly help with employability and so self-esteem.
    Maybe in a few years some of todays celebs who have gone down the plastic surgery route will look so awful, it will make young people think twice.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 61.

    The fact that you look like you is because you are an individual. When people look at you they see you. Made by thousand upon thousand parents backed up with stardust. Just smile, get on with life, enjoy it and do the best with what you've got because life's biggest tests come later in life and no one teaches those subjects, the ones that really matter.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 60.

    MR.TRUCULENT SAYS!
    I do not think they have domestic science at school like when MR.TRUCULENT was a boy. British women, after their first baby automatic council house & loads of benifits, have everything they want & just let themselves go.They stuff their faces with take aways. Or fry everyhing with chips. You would never see Italian women in this state @ this age, Grossley over developed
    E&OE

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 59.

    Just put some standardised quantified measurement of their physical fitness on their school report each year and on their college leaving certificate.

    For example: The number of seconds it takes them to run 500m.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 58.

    More money down the pan. Perfect body image...........don't eat so much and take regular exercise. Rocket science it ain't.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 57.

    54.usedtobeBill: At least it's an alternative approach to that being pushed by the media / beauty industry. If teens understand the process by which their self-esteem is stolen & then sold back in the form of diets, pills & surgeries, some might at least begin to appreciate how the ideals they've imposed on us have been socially constructed for financial / political gain & are open to challenge.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 56.

    The one that really bewilders me is our utter preoccupation with weight, which far predates the current 'obesity' moral panic and under which all manner of moral judgments & lurid stereotypes have been actively encouraged. Of the fat people I know, most are decent, kind & law-abiding so why is it now so acceptable at every level to treat them like dirt on the basis of this single characteristic?

 

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