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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(11), 14640-14668; doi:10.3390/ijerph121114640

The Effects of Weight Perception on Adolescents’ Weight-Loss Intentions and Behaviors: Evidence from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey

1
Economics Department, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA
2
Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 08901, New Jersey, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: María M. Morales Suárez-Varela
Received: 9 September 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Adolescents and Nutrition)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [513 KB, uploaded 20 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the correlation between self-perception of being overweight and weight loss intentions, eating and exercise behaviors, as well as extreme weight-loss strategies for U.S. adolescents. This study uses 50,241 observations from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS) 2001–2009, which were nationally representative sample of 9th- through 12th-grade students in both public and private schools in the US. This study finds that, irrespective of the weight status base on self-reported weight and height, adolescents who perceive themselves as overweight have a stronger intention to lose weight, but do not develop better eating and exercise habits, compared with their counterparts of same gender and reported weight status. Normal-weight adolescents, if they perceive themselves as overweight, are more likely to engage in health-compromising weight-loss methods. This study shows that it is critical to transform weight-loss intentions into actual behaviors among overweight/obese adolescents and improve the efficacy of behavioral interventions against childhood obesity. It also highlights the need of establishing a correct perception of body weight among normal weight adolescents to curb extreme weight-loss methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: childhood obesity; overweight perception; weight-loss behavior; diet habit; physical activity childhood obesity; overweight perception; weight-loss behavior; diet habit; physical activity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fan, M.; Jin, Y. The Effects of Weight Perception on Adolescents’ Weight-Loss Intentions and Behaviors: Evidence from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 14640-14668.

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