25 July 2015

Body confidence comes with age, says YouGov global survey

A recent YouGov global survey* has found that the majority of adults are happy with their weight and body image, and that body confidence tends to mature with age. The survey also notes that there is concern that celebrity culture undermines the body image of young people in nearly all countries surveyed.

For the US, Australia, and most of the European and Asia Pacific countries surveyed older people are significantly more likely to be happy about their body shape than those in their twenties and thirties.

Of the twenty-five countries surveyed, Indonesians are the most positive about their body image overall, with more than three quarters (78%) claiming they are happy with their body weight and shape. Residents from Saudi Arabia (72%), Oman (70%) and Qatar (70%) are the next happiest with their body image overall.

Men in general are more positive about their weight and appearance than women. Only in Saudi Arabia are women more comfortable with their looks than the men with 74% of Saudi women claiming they are happy with the way they look compared to 70% of Saudi men.

Looking at APAC countries, in Indonesia, only 75% of women are happy with their looks compared to 81% of Indonesia men. In Malaysia, 60% women are happy with their looks while 65% Malaysia men are happy with their looks. In Singapore, the percentages are 62% and 66%; in Thailand it’s 63% and 68%; and in Australia, it’s 58% and 67%. Women in Hong Kong are the least body-confident with only 44% claiming they are happy with their appearance compared to 55% of Hong Kong men.

In seventeen of the twenty-five countries surveyed more than half of responders think that celebrity culture has a negative impact on young people. In Australia 67% think celebrity culture has a negative effect on young people. In Indonesia, 58% think the same. However, people in Singapore and Malaysia are more neutral, with only 43% and 41% think celebrity culture has a negative effect on young people, while in Thailand and Hong Kong, a lower percentage of 38% and 37% response that they think celebrity culture has a negative effect on young people.

In general the countries surveyed in the Middle East and Asia Pacific have a more positive view of the impact of celebrity culture on young people. Around a third in the UAE (34%) and Qatar (31%) think celebrity culture can have a positive effect, along with 41% in Mainland China and over one in three (34%) in Malaysia and Thailand.

*The total sample size was 22,140 adults, surveyed in the US, UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia. Fieldwork was undertaken between April 28 and May 13 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+).