Dr Luke Evans, MP for Bosworth, has welcomed the announcement that MPs will examine the relationship between people’s perception of their body image, and their physical and mental health.
The Health and Social Care Committee will consider how far people’s perception of body image can hinder access to NHS services and whether NHS training and Government messaging should be altered. The Committee will also explore the extent to which people who have negative body image are drawn to cosmetic procedure, and whether there is enough support, advice, and regulation in place to ensure patient safety.
The inquiry builds on the work of a report from the Women and Equalities Committee, which found that 61% of adults and 66% of children feel negative or very negative about their body image most of the time.
Dr Luke Evans said: “I’m pleased that my fellow members of the Health and Social Care Committee and I will examine the link between body image and the impact on physical and mental health. In my role as a GP before becoming an MP, I saw first-hand how body image concerns can have a real, tangible and dangerous impact on physical and mental health.
Since I was elected in 2019, I’ve been campaigning on body image, to foster healthier, more realistic representations of the way we look, and I am hopeful that this enquiry will continue to make the case to Government on the extent of body image concerns.”
The Bosworth MP has recently launched his new campaign on body image, asking the Government to recognise body image for the first time in UK law, in the forthcoming Online Harms Bill.
Health and Social Care Committee Chair Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said: “Given the shocking magnitude of body image issues in the UK, it is imperative that we get the full picture of how, mentally and physically, those suffering are affected.
We must ensure ignorance and stigma don’t prevent people seeking treatment and that the NHS and Department of Health and Social Care have the knowledge, tools, and regulatory frameworks to properly identify and support those who are struggling. We will be considering whether NHS training or Government messaging need to change to protect those at risk.”
The Committee are currently collecting written evidence, which should be submitted by 19 January 2022, and be no more than 3,000 words. Guidance on submitting written evidence is available here: www.parliament.uk/get-involved/committees/how-do-i-submit-evidence/commons-witness-guide/
You can also support Dr Luke’s #RecogniseBodyImage campaign by signing the petition here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/599952