~Body Image~
What is it?
Body Image Self-Assessment
Ideal Weight
Body Types
Tips for a Positive Body Image
Tips for Staying Healthy
Eating Disorders
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Male Image Issues
Support Groups
Diet Industry
The Media's Effect
More than just Dolls?
Body Types
Attempting to enter the basic American search for self-control, individuality and thinness has not brought most people more health and happiness. Instead, we often feel as if we have failed and the blame is laid squarely on our shoulders. But the social requirement that we achieve the "ideal weight" is based on the presumption that we can completely control our body size. In fact, the size and shape of our bodies are as genetically determined as skin and eye color.
Each one of us inherits a specific body type. Even though the media would have us think otherwise, there are really many healthy and normal body types. For ease of reference, body types have been categorized into three main types. Each body type has advantages over the others for certain activities, but a person with any body type can be healthy and fit and look great!

Ectomorphs are generally tall and thin and have long arms and legs. These people have difficulty gaining weight and muscle no matter how much they eat or how hard they weight train. They have the body type you tend to see in ballet dancers, runway models, long-distance runners, and some basketball players. A very small proportion of the population has this type of body.

Mesomorphs are generally muscular, shorter, and have stocky arms and legs. These people are strong and tend to gain muscle mass when they do strength training. They may find it difficult to lose weight, but they excel in power sports like soccer, softball, vaulting in gymnastics, sprinting events in track and field.

Endomorphs are generally shaped like apples or pears and carry more body fat. Their bodies resist losing weight and body fat no matter how restrictive they are with their eating. In fact, the more they “diet,” the more their metabolisms slow down to resist weight loss. These people are better able to handle long periods of starvation and famine (which was a benefit to our ancestors). Sports they excel at are distance swimming, field events, and weight lifting.

If you don’t think you fit into any of these, don’t worry. Many of us fall somewhere in between. The important thing to know is that there are many body types, and all of these types are normal.

The body type classifications are from the Student Nutrition Action Committee at UCLA