Most people still at least “somewhat” happy with their body condition despite changing social norms—particularly in developing world

BBC M8 BodyImage-
Body image is generally more positive in the developing world than in the West, according to GlobeScan’s latest global public opinion polling.
A week after a major health charity warned that more than half of British women’s waists are too large, GlobeScan’s opinion polling shows that while most of those polled across 23 countries (77%) are at least somewhat happy with their body condition, Indonesians are most content (92% say they are happy), followed by Kenyans (91%), Ghanaians (87%), and Mexicans (85%). The USA and Canada (both at 81%) are the highest-ranking industrialized countries. Spain (80%), and the UK and Australia (both 79%) are the other Western countries in the upper tier.
China (76%) and India (71%) appear further down on the chart. In these expanding economies, increasingly westernized diets and changing social norms (such as the prevalence of digitally enhanced models in advertising and the spread of new social media that encourage people to post images of themselves) may be driving an increased preoccupation with self-image. This tension between past and present may underlie the observation that Egyptians and Pakistanis, resident in culturally conservative nations, have some of the lowest levels of satisfaction with their bodies (both 71%).
This difference between self-confident and less confident populations within the developing world suggests that companies need to take into account the social norms of individual countries, and shifting cultural trends, when advertising.
Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 1, 2012 
This post was written by former GlobeScan Research Director, Sam Mountford.