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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1541: Body Mass Index Perception, Body Image Dissatisfaction and Their Relations with Weight-Related Behaviors among University Students

01 May 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1541: Body Mass Index Perception, Body Image Dissatisfaction and Their Relations with Weight-Related Behaviors among University Students

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16091541

Authors:
Hadia Radwan
Hayder A. Hasan
Haneen Ismat
Hala Hakim
Hiba Khalid
Leen Al-Fityani
Rawand Mohammed
Alzahraa Ayman

The prevalence of obesity is increasing globally and is linked with poor body image perception. The aim of the present study was to identify the relationships of body image (BI) and body mass index (BMI) with weight control practices among university students. A cross-sectional study on a sample of 308 university students (150 males and 158 females) aged between 18 and 25 years was carried out. Face-to-face interviews were conducted based on a questionnaire that included socio-demographic, physical activity, the Figure Rating Scale (FRS) and body image dissatisfaction (BID) questions. The majority of the participants (81%: 58.2% females and 41.8% males) were dissatisfied with their BI. Females desired to lose weight and preferred diet to exercise, while males desired to gain weight and preferred exercise to diet (p < 0.001). About 56%, 39.5%, and 4.5% of the participants were normal, overweight/obese, and underweight, respectively. There was a significant, strong correlation (R2 = 0.84, p < 0.001) between perceived BMI and actual BMI. Actual BMI showed a significant strong correlation with the BID (r = 0.57, p < 0.001). The results highlighted the need to increase awareness of the importance of healthy eating behaviors and regular physical activities to improve body size, shape perception, and satisfaction among college males and females.

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