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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582

Abstract

SANTOS, Eduila Maria C. et al. Body satisfaction and associated factors among high school students. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.2, pp. 214-223. ISSN 0103-0582.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-05822011000200013.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze body satisfaction among students and its possible associations with nutritional status, socio-demographic factors, life style and health perception. METHODS: This cross-sectional study enrolled students aged 15 to 20 years of public schools from the city of Caru-aru, Northeast Brazil. Anthropometric, socio-demographic, life style and health perception, sleep, stress and body image variables were evaluated. The body mass index for gender and age was used to diagnose underweight, and overweight according to Conde and Monteiro (2006). Binary logistic regression was applied with the occurrence of "dissatisfaction with thinness" and "dissatisfaction with excess weight" as outcomes. RESULTS: 594 students (62% females) aged 17.5±1.6 years old were studied. A proportion of 38.7% (95%CI 34.8-42.7) were satisfied with their body weight, while 31.3% (95%CI 27.6-35.2) would like to increase it and 30.0% (95%CI 26.3-33.8) would like to reduce it. The students who were satisfied with their weight ate at least five servings of vegetables/day, three or more meals/day, and they had a positive perception of sleep. Males and individuals with low weight expressed the desire to increase their body weight, while females, students who have less than three meals/day, students with higher income, and those with overweight would like to reduce their weight. Among the males who would like to increase their body weight 13.5% had overweight and 18.8% of the females who desired to reduce their weight were underweight. CONCLUSIONS: Preventive measures that include the discus-sion about body culture and health damage risks are needed. These measures should target genders' specificities.

Keywords : body image; adolescent; nutritional status.

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