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Perceived body size versus healthy body size and physical activity among adolescents - Results of a national survey



Perceived body size versus healthy body size and physical activity among adolescents - Results of a national survey



European Journal of Sport Science 13(6): 723-731



This study examined whether body perception (BP) and body satisfaction (BS) among adolescents correspond with healthy body size criteria as recommended by various world health authorities, and assessed the relationships between BP and BS and physical activity (PA) among adolescents. Participants included 6274 Israeli boys and girls from grades 7-12 who took part in the first Israeli Health and Nutrition Youth survey. Data regarding their BP and BS, body mass index (BMI) and PA were gathered. Among the overweight and obese participants, 66.4% and 40.6% of the boys, respectively, and 46.7% and 26.1% of the girls, respectively, perceived their body shape and size as satisfactory (OK). Another important finding was that overweight and obese girls were three times more active than underweight girls, and the highest per cent of active boys appeared among the overweight boys or those who perceived themselves as fat. Regression analyses revealed that BMI, gender and age accounted for 29.8% of the variance in participants' BP; BMI, gender and age accounted for 22.1% of BS variance, and PA was not related to either BP or BS. In conclusion, adolescents do not perceive their body according to healthy body size criteria recommended by various world health authorities. In addition, PA as a variable does not explain body image. Therefore, increasing body awareness seems to be a fundamental step in programs that aim to reduce obesity.

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Accession: 036779493

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PMID: 24251751

DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2013.771382


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