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National Osteoporosis Society

Osteoporosis helpline

0845 450 0230

9amĀ - 5pm Mon-Fri

Body Gossip

The way we feel about our body can have a big impact on bone health. Body Gossip is a campaign to get people talking about these issues and to share their experiences. 

Body image issues and osteoporosis are closely linked, both in terms of risk factors for the disease and its affect. When we are young it’s vital to build strong bone for the future, but pressure to be thin can lead to drastic diets and low body weight. This can be damaging to our bones. Fractures due to osteoporosis can also affect the way we feel about our body. Loss of height, curvature of the spine and ill fitting clothing can all cause body image issues.

This work is a new approach to osteoporosis prevention after a study in January of this year, called the Children of the 90s study, suggested that teenage girls who are too thin may be putting their bones at risk.  It has long been known that the amount of muscle in the body is related to bone growth, but this new study highlighted that fat mass is also important in building bone

Statistics from both Bliss Magazine and Girl Guiding UK prompted the development of the campaign. They said that 71% of young people feel adversely affected by the unrealistic thin ideal promoted in the media. In addition, half of 11 to 16-year-old girls and 66% of 16 to 21-year-olds have cut down on their food intake. More than one in ten 11- to 16-year-olds said they were ‘not at all happy’ with their appearance and among 16- to 21-year-olds, 50 % would consider surgery to change their appearance.

The Body Gossip campaign has a range of exciting internet based resources: there are video clips of people talking about body image, positive body image role models, peer support through messages of encouragement, schools resources and letters and stories from people discussing body image.  But it’s not just young people that benefit from Body Gossip.

This campaign is important for two reasons. Firstly, we want to protect young people’s bone health and help them to understand the effects of osteoporosis and the impact it can have on your body. We also want to give people with osteoporosis more confidence about their body, by showing them that they are not alone with any body image issues.


Our facebook page contains hundreds of views on body image collected from across the UK. You can see celebrity views and our body image graffiti wall by looking in the facebook page photo albums.

Don’t forget to click the like button at the top to keep up-to-date.


Our YouTube page contains video clips of a range of people talking about body image. We recorded many of them in a video diary room at the Clothes Show. There are also expert tips from doctors, psychologists and nutritionists.

We also have some fantastic films of celebrities reading your body image stories.

Teaching Resources

The Body Gossip teaching resources are designed to help schools and other organisations learn and express their views about body image. (These will be available from 21st October 2010).

The resources will help you to explore society’s views on body image, write about body image for our competition and produce a theatre performance about body image.  



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