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Every BODY Is A Somebody

[Ed:  updated as of September 2011, as per the BICP: "The Body Image Coalition of Peel has disbanded.  Their website at is no longer active.  Please remove any links to their site...their resource Every BODY Is A no longer available for sale. Please note: Plans are underway to put an electronic version of this manual online at the Region of Peel, but it is not yet available.  If you are interested in accessing this, please check back with us in a few months."]

Type of Resource: Book
Source: Body Image Coalition of Peel
Author: Body Image Coalition of Peel
 New Manual Focuses on Preventing Eating Disorders

Our society is obsessed with thinness. We are bombarded daily with unrealistic beliefs that thinness is healthy, easily achieved and attainable by all. In the Region of Peel, this obsession has resulted in widespread body image dissatisfaction among teenage girls. A study by McVey of 400 Peel Region grade 7 and 8 girls showed that the majority were dissatisfied with their body shape and were dieting to lose weight [McVey, G. (1995). Psychosocial correlates of eating disturbances in young adolescent females: A developmental perspective. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, York University, Toronto, Ontario.]

Other surveys conducted with North American teens show similar if not higher prevalence of body dissatisfaction and dieting. For some, body image dissatisfaction leads to severe eating problems.

In an effort to change attitudes and reduce the risk of eating disorders, the Body Image Coalition of Peel developed a manual designed to promote healthy body image, positive self esteem, and a non-dieting approach to eating. This active learning program provides background information for the facilitator and activities to be used with adolescents on the following topics:

Media, Family and Friends
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Set-Point: The Body's Resistance to Dieting
Healthy Eating and an Active Lifestyle
Stress Management Skills
Relationships Skills

The manual was written by members of the Body Image Coalition of Peel. The Coalition, which includes a variety of professionals and community members interested in body image issues, has a mission to raise awareness and understanding of body image issues and eating disorders in Peel.

The Coalition was able to distribute copies of the manual to Region of Peel schools thanks to funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Grants Program and OSSTF District 10 Peel, Excellence in Education Committee. Preliminary evaluation of the manual with educators (n=107) has been very positive. The majority of the respondents report that the manual has been useful in increasing their knowledge (89.3%) and confidence (88.5%) in teaching issues related to
body image and self-esteem.

To order a copy of Every BODY Is A Somebody, Please make cheques payable to the Body Image Coalition of Peel and mail to Body Image Coalition of Peel, c/o Mary Turfryer, Peel Health, 199 County Court Blvd., Brampton ON L6W 4P3, (905) 791-7800 ext. 2565. The cost of the manual is $29.00 within Ontario, $32.00 elsewhere in Canada; and $35.00 for U.S. or international orders.