Body image issues cause bullying, according to MPs' report

  • 30 May 2012
  • From the section Health

MPs say two thirds of people in the UK are unhappy with the way they look.

They have written a report into body image and claim it is the largest cause for bullying in schools.

They are recommending anyone who wants to have plastic surgery should take a test to check they are psychologically prepared for the operation.

According to the British Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) it's something which happens in around 35% of clinics already.

Fazel Fatah, president of Baaps, said: "We are funding research into developing a reliable psychological assessment tool to be routinely used in every consultation to make sure that patients who may have BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) or other psychological disorders are identified and advised appropriately."

'Counselling'

Sian Welsh, 22 and from Oldham, had breast implants when she was 18.

Looking back she says the surgeon didn't give her enough time to think about whether she needed surgery.

She spoke to Newsbeat when the surveys were first used.

"Looking back, I was definitely too young and probably needed counselling to make me feel better about myself," she admitted.

"I don't regret the surgery but I should have waited.

"My surgeon didn't get to know me and never found out where I was psychologically."

Doctor Ravi Jain is a cosmetic doctor.

He says it's important to make sure patients understand what they are about to go through.

He said: "We absolutely don't want to operate on people who will be unhappy and it's not the right thing for them.

"We often turn people away who want to use liposuction as a weight loss procedure.

"They're quite happy eating as much as they want and not exercising. We turn those [people] away all the time."

The MPs also want there to be more regulation of plastic surgery advertising, like there is with alcohol.

They want to stop special offers being promoted on billboards or magazines.

They also say the way doctors measure health using the body mass index (BMI) should change because it might not give an accurate view on whether someone is overweight or heavy because they have a lot of muscle.