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Personal Health and Wellness (HLTH – 4300 – 1)

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Body Image

Perception versus reality. In relation to weight and body image, perception and reality are often different. The average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs 140 pounds, while the average American model is 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 117 pounds. Which is a more realistic representation of a woman?

Contemporary advertisements and media can impact a person’s idea of body image as well as an individual’s culture and economic status. Think about the factors that influence the perception of body image. Consider how body image might affect an individual’s dietary choices and physical exercise. As you think about how perception and body image impact personal health, consider whether there is a genetic component to body weight and whether weight or body shape is a result of genetics or behavior.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review Chapter 9 in Health: The basics, 10th edition. Consider the role nutrition plays in maintaining body weight
  • Review Chapter 10 in Health: The basics, 10th edition. Think about how a healthy weight can impact body image.
  • Review the article “Body image change and improved eating self-regulation in a weight management intervention in women.” Consider the impact of body image on dietary choices.
  • Review the media “Dimensions of Health Wheel.” Focus on how the perception of body image affects health and wellness.
  • Review the multimedia piece “Dimensions of Health Wheel.” Consider the role of genetics and behavior on body weight and shape.
  • Review the multimedia piece “Dimensions of Health Wheel.” Focus on how the perception of body image affects health and wellness. Also, consider the role of genetics and behavior on body weight and shape.

With these thoughts in mind:

Select one of the Discussion Questions.

By Day 4, post three factors that influence the perception of body image and explain the reasons why. Then explain two ways body image might impact personal health and wellness.


By Day 4, post your position on whether weight and body shape is more of a factor of genetics or behavior. Support your position with references from this week’s Learning Resources.



Application: Weight Management and Personal Fitness

Managing a healthy weight and maintaining a healthy fitness level takes effort and commitment. Personal fitness is the combination of eating healthfully, exercising, and adopting behaviors that lead to improved personal health and wellness.

For this Application Assignment, consider your level of personal fitness and any real or perceived barriers that may prevent you from achieving your optimal fitness goals.

To prepare for this Application Assignment: Review Chapter 11 in Health: The Basics, 10th Edition. Think about the necessity of personal fitness in disease prevention and overall health and wellness. Complete the following Personal Health Assessments in Health: The basics, 10th edition:

    • Chapter 9, “How Healthy Are Your Eating Habits?”
    • Chapter 10, “Are Your Efforts To Be Thin Sensible—Or Spinning Out Of Control?”
    •  Chapter 11, How Physically Fit Are You?”

Application Assignment (2–3 pages):

  • Summarize any insights you gained as a result of taking this assessments.
  • Explain two benefits of physical fitness as a vital means of disease prevention and explain why they are beneficial.
  • Describe two ways in which you might increase your personal fitness.
  • Describe two barriers that might inhibit your physical fitness and describe one strategy you might use to overcome one of those barriers.

Support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Essential Guide to APA Style for Walden Students to ensure that your in-text citations and reference list are correct. Submit your Application Assignment by Day 7




  • Donatelle, R. J. (2013). Health: The basics, 10th edition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
    • Chapter 9 “Eating for a Healthier You”
    • Chapter 10 “Reaching and Maintaining a Healthy Weight”
    • Chapter 11 “Improving Your Personal Fitness”
  • Carraça, E. V., Silva, M. N., Markland, D., Vieira, P. N., Minderico, C. S., Sardinha, L. B., & Teixeira, P. J. (2011). Body image change and improved eating self-regulation in a weight management intervention in women. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8(75). Body image change and improved eating self-regulation in a weight management intervention in women by Carraça, E., Silva, M., Markland, D., Vieira, P., Minderico, C., Sardinha, L., & Teixeira, P., in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition And Physical Activity, Vol. 87/Issue 5. Copyright 2011 by Biomed Central, Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Biomed Central, Ltd. via the Copyright Clearance Center.


  • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Personal Health and Wellness: Dimensions of Health Wheel[Multimedia], Baltimore, MD: Author.

Optional Resources

  • Vocks, S., Hechler, T., Rohrig, S., & Legenbauer, T. (2009). Effects of a physical exercise session on state body image: The influence of pre-experimental body dissatisfaction and concerns about weight and shape. Psychology & Health, 24(6), 713–728. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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