Body image perception and weight-related behaviour among adolescents of the Seychelles


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Body image perception and weight-related behaviour among adolescents of the Seychelles
Title of the conference
Immunology and Cancer, CHUV Research Day, January 28, 2010
Alwan Heba, Viswanathan Bharathi, Paccaud Fred, Bovet Pascal
University of Lausanne, Faculty of Biology and Medicine
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81, MCV-2
Background: We examined one's own body image perception and its association with reported weight-related behavior among adolescents of a rapidly developing country in the African region.
Methods: We conducted a school-based survey of 1432 students aged 11-17 years in the Seychelles. Weight and height were measured, and thinness, normal weight and overweight were assessed along standard criteria. A self-administered and anonymous questionnaire was administered. Perception of body image was assessed using both a closed-ended question (CEQ) and the Stunkard's pictorial silhouettes (SPS). Finally, a question assessed voluntary attempts to change weight.
Results: Overall, 14.1% of the students were thin, 63.9% were normal-weight, and 22.0% were overweight or obese. There was fair agreement between actual weight status and self-perceived
body image based on either CEQ or SPS. However, a substantial proportion of the overweight students did not consider themselves as overweight (SPS: 24%, CEQ: 34%) and, inversely, a substantial proportion of the normal-weight students considered themselves as too thin (SPS: 29%, CEQ: 15%). Among the overweight students, an adequate attempt to lose weight was reported more often by boys and girls who perceived themselves as overweight vs. not overweight (72-88% vs. 40-71%, p <0.05 for most comparisons). Among the normal-weight students, an inadequate attempt to gain weight was reported more often by boys and girls who perceived themselves as thin vs. not thin (27-68% vs. 11-19%, p <0.05). Girls had leaner own body ideals than boys.
Conclusions: We found that substantial proportions of overweight students did not perceive themselves as overweight and/or did not want to lose weight and, inversely, that many normalweight students perceived themselves as too thin and/or wanted to gain weight: this points to forces that can drive the upwards overweight trends. Appropriate perception of one's weight was associated with adequate weight-control behavior, although not strongly, emphasizing that appropriate weight perception is only one of several factors driving adequate weight-related behavior. These findings emphasize the need to address appropriate perception of one's own weight and adequate weight-related behavior in adolescents for both individual and community weight-related interventions.
Adolescent , Child , Body Image , Body Weight , Self Concept , Health Behavior , Health Surveys , Schools , Seychelles
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16/03/2010 14:48
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20/08/2019 17:23
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