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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 145-149

Comparison of body image perception and the actual BMI and correlation with self-esteem and mental health: A cross-sectional study among adolescents

1 Department of Community Medicine, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Intern, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Delma D'Cunha
Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_65_16

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INTRODUCTION: Body image perception refers to an individual's idea about his/her body. Dissatisfaction regarding body image may have a major impact on one's psychological well-being and may be a risk factor for eating disorders. This is generally seen to be more prevalent among growing individuals, namely, adolescents, and this study was conducted to assess the prevalence, find the underlying risk factors, and assess means to manage the conditions effectively to prevent an adverse impact on mental health and well-being. This study was aimed at estimating the prevalence of body image dissatisfaction among adolescents and to make a comparison of these findings among male and female adolescents, and also between the early, middle, and late teens. METHODOLOGY: A total of 309 adolescents (M = 128, F = 181; age range 10–19 years; and mean age = 15.2) were assessed using anthropometric measurements, Body Mass Index calculation, and body image perception questionnaire. This information was correlated with the self-esteem scores of these individuals using Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Questionnaire. RESULTS: Both males and females were found to be equally concerned about their appearance and body shape (51.46% and 48.53%, respectively). Among these, we found that the middle (14–16 years) and late teens (17–19 years) had higher scores of body image dissatisfaction compared to early teens (10–13 years). Majority (62.38%) of the early teens was unconcerned with their body shapes. Not only overweight but also even underweight adolescents had higher body shape dissatisfaction with 64.72% perceiving their body shape wrongly. Mental health and self-esteem scores were shown to have a positive correlation with body dissatisfaction indicating that those who were dissatisfied with their body were more likely to have lower self-esteem (p = 0.036). CONCLUSION: The present study found that majority of the adolescents has body dissatisfaction, which negatively affects their self-esteem.

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