Adolescent perception of their own body weight [Article In Croatian]

Irena Bralić, Dubravka Matanić, Vedran Kovačić

Abstract

Objective - To assess whether the adolescents in Trogir (Croatia) are satisfied with their actual body weight. An analysis will be made of whether males and females differ according to the perception of their body mass, and according to the values of the desired body mass they see as »ideal« in relation to reality.

Examinees and methods - Antropometrical measuring of body weight and height, and an anonymous questionnaire were undertaken among the population of 137 young men and 328 fifteen year old girls. The answers to the questions were analyzed concerning satisfaction with their existing body weight, desirable "ideal" body weight as regards the existing body weight, and whether they were on adiet or not to control the existing body weight . The ideal body weight was shown by aberrations of desired (±kg) from the measured body weight.

Results - 61.6% of girls and 40.1% of young men (P <0.001) are not satisfied with their own body weight. Girls want to reduce their body weight by 2.56±4.42 kg, while young men want to increase it by 1.24±6.55 kg (P <0.001). Girls who are not on a diet (82.9%) also want to reduce their existing body weight. Groups of satisfied and dissatisfied girls and young men do not differ significantly according to the value of their perceived "ideal" body weight.

Conclusion - Girls are much more dissatisfied with their existing body weight and are much more committed in their control in comparison to young men. Girls want to reduce their body weight, while young men want to increase it. During adolescence it is necessary to stimulate the acceptance of attitude and knowledge among young people on a healthy life style, but also to develop a critical attitude towards the messages on ideal body weight and their appearance referred to them by media.

Keywords

Body perception; Obesity; Body weight; Adolescents

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