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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582

Abstract

DEL DUCA, Giovâni Firpo et al. Body weight dissatisfaction and associated factors among adolescents. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.4, pp.340-346. ISSN 0103-0582.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-05822010000400009.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of body weight dissatisfaction among adolescents and the associated factors. METHODS: Population-based cross-sectional study covering a sample of students with ages from 15 to 19 years, attending public high schools in Santa Catarina, Brazil, in the year 2002. The outcome of the study was body weight satisfaction, assessed by the question: "Are you satisfied with your body weight?" The variables analyzed were gender, age, family income, home neighborhood, nutritional status, time of television viewing per week, smoking and self-rated health. Some feeding behaviors were also investigated: taking weight loss medication, vomiting after meals, and having at least three meals per day. A multinomial regression model was used in the crude and adjusted analyses. RESULTS: Among the adolescents evaluated (n=5,028), 16.7% (95%CI: 15.7-17.7) were unsatisfied and would like to gain weight, and 36.2% (95%CI: 34.9-37.5) would like to reduce it. Frequent behaviors among those who wanted to reduce their body weight included: taking weight loss medication, vomiting after meals, and not having at least three meals per day. Adjusted analyses showed that factors associated with the desire to gain weight were: male gender, >17 years old, living in the urban area, without overweight, and having a negative self-perception of health. Factors associated with the desire to lose weight included: female gender, living in the urban area, with overweight, and having a negative self-perception of health. CONCLUSIONS: A high prevalence of body weight dissatisfaction was found in this sample, and the factors more associated with this behavior included gender, nutritional status and self-perception of health.

Keywords : body weight; weight perception; body image; adolescent.

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