Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil
Print version ISSN 1519-3829
PEREIRA, Érico Felden et al. Body image perception in children and adolescents with different socio-economic status in the city of Florianópolis, in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2009, vol.9, n.3, pp. 253-262. ISSN 1519-3829. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-38292009000300004.
OBJECTIVES: to identify the body image perception in children and adolescents from different socio-economic backgrounds. METHODS: a cross-cutting study was carried out in the city of Florianópolis, in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil, in the year 2006. Four hundred and two schoolchildren, with an average age of 11.35 ± 1.98 years, enrolled in the final years of primary school were investigated. Body image perception was identified using the Stunkard silhouettes protocol and socio-economic status was evaluated using the criteria proposed by the National Pres and Research Association (ANEP). Prevalence ratios were calculated for dissatisfaction arising from perceived excessive weight or excessive thinness. RESULTS: among males, silhouette 3 was the one most often chosen among those from the upper and middle classes, whereas those of lower socio-economic status opted for silhouette 4; middle and upper class girls, however, opted for silhouette 2 was chosen and girls from less privileged backgrounds tended to select silhouette 3 as best representing their own silhouette. Silhouette 3 for males and 2 for females are considered to be the ideal for most school-age children. Less privileged young people had a higher prevalence of dissatisfaction arising from excess weight than more privileged ones. CONCLUSIONS: there was a tendency to children of a higher social status to be dissatisfied because they regarded themselves as being too thin and for children of lower social status to be dissatisfied because they perceived themselves to be overweight.
Keywords : Body image; Socioeconomic factors; Perception; Child; Adolescent.