New research has shown boys aged between 15 and 19 are just as likely to have body image issues as girls.

For young Australians, body image issue are the third most common source of angst after ‘coping with stress’ and ‘school’.

A survey revealed 31.1 percent of young people reported body image as a source of stress in their lives, shared 9 honey.

Christine Morgan, CEO of the Butterfly Foundation says boys haven’t been enough of a focus when it comes to body image issues, but they should be.

“In all the work we’re doing we’re seeing it’s not just a major issue, it’s of increasing concern at a young age and through adolescence,” she told Georgie Gardner on Today’s Agenda.

Ms Morgan said the main message we need to teach our sons and daughters is that there is no one ideal body type, but many types of body shapes and sizes.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t take as much time as it has for girls to accept diversity of size and shape,” she said.

She also said we need to teach our children that their self-worth has nothing to do with their body size and shape.

Parents need to look out for signs of negative body image in boys from adolescence, and those include an increased focus on body image, avoidance of food, body shaming and making negative comments about themselves.

If you or someone you know is suffering from body image issues, contact the Butterfly Foundation on 1800 334 673.

As a mum of boys this is always something in the back of my mind. Keep watch, and have open discussions with them regularly to keep the lines of communication open and honest.

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  • I think everyone has to be mindful and responsible for their words and actions. Just be kind.


  • Sometimes the comments made outside of the family circle are a lot more destructive than those made by family members. In a family circle improvements can be made after a bad comment. Who is going to reprimand a person outside of the family and make them see their error of their ways


  • This is such a big issue. I know I’m not a boy, but from a girl’s perspective, I didn’t even feel close enough to my mum to be able to tell her that I hated myself.


  • I think communication is key here.


  • My son grew out of his puppy fat into a tall, slim teenager. This was a natural progress as he reached puberty. What then became clear was people’s comments on his image and size and looks. It annoyed me every time someone commented on his appearance (and it happened everytime people saw hime) and it bothered my son too. He asked why everyone had something to say. Not to stop there, people now feel the need to comment on how short and chubby he was! He now attends gym regularly and often shows me his muscles and abs. I always repeat that he is not the sum of his boy and although he loves the process and how he is looking, that he is more than his body and looks. I remind him of this regularly. It’s other people’s perceptions and comments that seem really important to him now and he repeats the comments from everyone about how hot and trim and muscly he’s looking. It’s my job to then play that down and talk about all his other positive attributes. I must admit though, it has really shocked me.


  • I have always thought that boys would have body image issues too. The biggest problem is that they feel they can’t talk about it without being labelled as ‘girly’.


  • It is a concern I have a 14 yr old who is a little over weight but still I can’t get him to move it’s also a worry for parents


  • If the parents don’t have a body image problem then it is rare that the children will have one in my opinion.


  • Is this a new research ? Thought this was already studied and known for many years. There is still a lot of work to be done in the acceptance of different shapes, sizes and beauty standards for boys & girls. We as parents need to start with our own wrong perceptions and insecurities, if we want to give the right message to our children.


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