Atika Khalaf

Name: Atika Khalaf
Country: Sweden
Degrees: PhD in Medical Sciences
Current job title: University lecturer
Institution: Kristianstad University
Short autobiography:

I have a PhD in Medical Sciences, Global Public Health from Karolinska Institute. My background profession is in nursing and I work currently as a university lecturer in Kristianstad University. My main research areas are; nutrition, weight status, physical activity and body image among women in Saudi Arabia. I also work with undernutrition among hospital patients, as well as physical activity and nutrition in pregnant women. In my work, I implemented an intervention on attitudes towards, knowledge about and levels of physical activity among young female university students. In this data, I also measured perceived, ideal and actual body shape preferences. The data from the intervention study are yet to be analyzed.

Reason for joining: The preliminary results of some of my studies show that few (21%, n=663) young women (18-25 years) are satisfied with their appearance. Thus, the discrepancies in body shape preferences are distressing facts for young women in their attempts to reach the ideal body shape. Attending the training school gave me a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and learn more about different methodological issues related to appearance and physical activity in various social and cultural settings. The training school give me also the tools (ACT and CBT) needed to combat distress related to appearance.
Current research interest in relation to the COST Action: I have interest in the following research areas: 1. Develop protocols to assess the prevalence and impacts of appearance dissatisfaction in different countries, social and cultural groupings 2. Develop protocols to evaluate and refine interventions to prevent or ameliorate appearance dissatisfaction 3. Develop protocols to investigate the role of appearance in social networking (to include cyberbullying) 4. Explore the social and cultural factors influencing appearance dissatisfaction and stigma 5. Develop methods to investigate the role of appearance in sport and physical activity (including physical self-esteem and body attractiveness)
COST Actions Outcomes:
E-mail: atika.khalaf@hkr.se
Link to institution: www.hkr.se