Comparison of Body Image and its Relationship with Body Mass Index (BMI) in High School Students of Ahvaz, Iran

Authors

1 Department of Nursing, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Nursing and Midwifery Science Development Research Center, Najafabad branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran.

3 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

Abstract

Background
It is not clearly specified that which of the components of body mass index (BMI) affect body image and which of them do not. Given that having information in this regard is of special importance as a basis for future planning for adolescents, the present research aimed to compare body image in female and male adolescents and study its relationship with body mass index in high school students of Ahwaz, Khuzestan Province in the academic year 2015-2016.
Materials and Methods
In this descriptive-analytic study, 200 high school students were selected as the sample using the random cluster sampling method. The required data were collected using demographic questionnaire, anthropometric data checklist (height and weight), and the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ). All descriptive and inferential statistics tests were performed using SPSS-17 at a confidence level of 95%.
Results: The students ranged from 15 to 18 years old. Equal distribution was employed among all four grades of high school. Body mass index (BMI) in male students showed a significant inverse relationship only with appearance orientation (P<0.05, r = -0.238) and body image (P<0.05, r = -0.200). In female high school students, BMI was scientifically related to appearance evaluation (P<0.05, r = -0.354), appearance orientation (P<0.05, r = -0.219), body areas satisfaction (P<0.05, r = -0.257), and body image (P<0.05, r = -0.286). Body Image was significantly greater in female than the male students by controlling BMI.
Conclusion: Overweight and obesity are considered important factors affecting the physical and mental health, including satisfaction with body image, among adolescent girls. Women’s extreme attention to their body leaves a negative impact on their attitude toward their body and body value. Therefore, promotion of a healthy body image should be integrated across all interventions aimed to address obesity and other health-related concerns among adolescents.

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