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Open AccessArticle

Body Image Concerns and Body Weight Overestimation Do Not Promote Healthy Behaviour: Evidence from Adolescents in Lithuania

1
Institute of Sport Science and Innovation, Lithuanian Sports University, Sporto 6, LT-44221 Kaunas, Lithuania
2
Department of Health, Physical and Social Education, Lithuanian Sports University, Sporto 6, LT-44221 Kaunas, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050864
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 9 March 2019
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Abstract

The present study aimed to explore the associations between body image concerns, body weight evaluation, disordered eating, nutrition habits, self-esteem, and physical activity (PA) in a mixed sample of adolescents of both genders. Methods. A total sample of 579 adolescents (299, 51.6% were girls) participated in this study. The participants ranged in age from 14–16 years old (M = 15.0, SD = 0.4). Respondents provided their answers filling in the questionnaires consisting of a battery of self-report questionnaires. An analysis of covariance was employed to test the hypothesis about the differences in body image concerns in the groups of BMI and body weight estimation controlling for gender. Results. Adolescents with a higher body mass index (BMI) and those overestimating body weight reported a higher body dissatisfaction (BD), a drive for thinness (DT), social physique anxiety (SPA), disordered eating, and lower self-esteem, but there were no differences in PA. Body weight overestimation was more prevalent in girls, yet body weight underestimation was more prevalent in boys. In girls, a higher BMI and body weight overestimation were associated with having less sweets, a lower frequency of having breakfast and for just a lower BMI alone—with consuming less fats, spreads, and oils. In boys, the BMI was associated with consuming less fruits and berries. The boys’ body weight overestimation was related to a lower reported number of meals, a lower frequency of breakfast, and a lower consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt, fats, spreads, and oils. Body dissatisfaction in boys and girls was negatively related to the number of meals, DT is related to a lower breakfast consumption (in girls), SPA was related to a lower nutrition score (in boys), the number of meals (boys and girls), and a lower use of meat and vegetables (boys). Conclusions. Adolescents with a higher BMI and body weight overestimation demonstrated higher body image concerns, lower self-esteem and a poorer eating-related behavioural profile. Body image concerns and body weight overestimation did not promote healthy behaviour in adolescents. It is critical to promote a positive body image, adequate body weight evaluation, self-esteem, and a healthy lifestyle in health promotion and health education programs for adolescents of both genders and different BMIs. View Full-Text
Keywords: body image; nutrition habits; physical activity; adolescents; disordered eating body image; nutrition habits; physical activity; adolescents; disordered eating
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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Jankauskiene, R.; Baceviciene, M. Body Image Concerns and Body Weight Overestimation Do Not Promote Healthy Behaviour: Evidence from Adolescents in Lithuania. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 864.

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