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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X

Abstract

SANTOS, Carla Fernandez dos; CASTRO, Inês Rugani Ribeiro de; CARDOSO, Letícia de Oliveira  and  TAVARES, Letícia Ferreira. Agreement and association between different indicators of body image and body mass index in adolescents. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2014, vol.17, n.3, pp.747-760. ISSN 1415-790X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201400030014.

The aim of the study was to examine the correlation among different indicators of body image; between each one of these and nutritional status; and the association of these indicators with the Body Mass Index (BMI) of adolescents. A random sample of 152 students from public and private schools in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was studied. On four occasions, two silhouette scales and two questions regarding the opinion of the student about his/her body and weight were applied and weight and height were measured. The BMI was examined both as a continuous and as a categorical variable. The agreement between the variables was analyzed using the quadratic weighted Kappa statistics. The association between body image variables and BMI was examined by the comparison among median, mean, standard deviation and 95% confidence interval of BMI for each category of the body image variables. In general, the correlation among the body image variables ranged from reasonable to good; between these and the variable nutritional status, correlation ranged from regular to reasonable. Best results were observed among boys and students from private schools. All body image variables showed good discriminatory power for BMI, when it was analyzed as a continuous variable, even when controlling for potential confounders. The question about body seems to be better than that about weight to compose the questionnaire of a surveillance system for risk and protective factors for adolescent health.

Keywords : Adolescent; Body image; Scales; Nutritional status; Association; Surveillance.

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