Since underserved individuals do not have a steady supply of food, this study explored whether their standards of what they view as healthy differs from individuals who can afford a basic living that includes food and shelter. Data collection from surveys provided information to see whether the struggles of obtaining food affects what is perceived as healthy, and whether there is a difference in dietary habits, perception of body image, and self-esteem. Homeless individuals displayed that they were more aware than non-homeless individuals that the food they were consuming was unhealthy. They were also less satisfied with their daily food diet, as most of them wished that they ate greater quantities of certain foods. Their daily food intake did confirm that they consumed more unhealthy food that lacked nutrition compared to non-homeless individuals. They also generally believed that thicker body images were healthier and more attractive compared to non-homeless people who thought that thinner body images were healthier and attractive. Homeless people also generally ranked lower on the body image scale than the image they thought was most desirable and healthy. This revealed a lack of satisfaction with their own current body. Additionally, the self-efficacy score displayed that homeless individuals generally scored lower for their self-esteem level compared to non-homeless people. This demonstrated that their daily struggles and lifestyle impacts their emotions and overall confidence.
- Self-Esteem, Dietary Habits, and Perception of Body Image Among the Homeless Population
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