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Waist circumference in relation to body perception reported by Finnish adolescent girls and their mothers
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Pediatrics . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Pediatrics . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Pediatrics . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
University of Helsinki.
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2009 (English)In: ACTA PAEDIATRICA, ISSN 0803-5253, Vol. 98, no 3, 501-506 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: To study how waist circumference (WC) relates to body perception in adolescent girls and to maternal perception of the girls body size.

Methods: Three hundred and four girls, 11-18 years, were measured for height, weight and WC. 294 girls provided self-report data on weight, height and body image before anthropometric measurements. Paired data from 237 girls and mothers on perception of the girls body size were collected.

Results: In girls, self-reported weight indicated awareness of actual body size. The girls body perception showed an overestimation of body size relative to international reference values for body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.05), but not for WC. Girls body perception exceeded that of their mothers (p < 0.05). Maternal perception agreed better than the girls perception with international reference values for BMI (p < 0.05). No significant difference between mothers and girls were found concerning agreement of body perception with international reference values for WC.

Conclusion: WC rather than BMI agrees with perception of body size, possibly due to its relation to abdominal fat at different ages. For effective prevention and treatment programmes for weight-related health problems among adolescent girls, we recommend measuring WC to diminish the discrepancy between measured and perceived body size.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 98, no 3, 501-506 p.
Keyword [en]
Adolescent girls, Body mass index, Body perception, Maternal perception, Waist circumference
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16890DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.01112.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-16890DiVA: diva2:174437
Available from: 2009-02-22 Created: 2009-02-20 Last updated: 2016-01-12
In thesis
1. Balancing body perception during growth and development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Balancing body perception during growth and development
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Among children and adolescents, the drive to be slender and the fear of being fat is a growing public health concern. This trend stands in contrast to the increasing prevalence of overweight reported worldwide. Both feeling too fat and being overweight are associated with physical, psychological and social health-related issues from a shortand long-term perspective. The aim of this thesis is to study body perception in relation to actual body size and the bodily changes that occur naturally during puberty. Another objective is to identify risk factors for overweight, overweight perception and unhealthy eating habits in childhood and adolescence.

This thesis describes the prevalence of 1) perception of overweight, 2) overweight/obesity and 3) unhealthy eating habits in Finland and Sweden. We compare our results with the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Behaviour in Schoolchildren (HBSC) survey in 2001/2002 and 2009/2010. Our cross-sectional studies were performed on a female cohort of 11-18 year old girls in Finland and a cohort of boys and girls 7-17 years in Sweden.

In both Finland and Sweden, the prevalence of overweight increased over time, especially among boys. Also perception of overweight increased over time – not just among girls, but also among boys. We found social inequality in overweight, particularly in boys in relation to maternal socioeconomic status. No social inequality, but age and gender differences were found in relation to perception of overweight, where girls older than 13 years showed the highest prevalence. Body perception among girls agreed better with international reference values for waist circumference (WC) than for body mass index (BMI). Breast development and acne increased the risk for overweight perception, particularly among non-overweight girls. Perception of overweight was the strongest risk factor for dieting and skipping breakfast in both boys and girls. These behaviours were more common among adolescents than among younger boys and girls. Skipping breakfast was related to unbalanced food consumption patterns in both sexes, but in a gender-specific way.

We have shown that body perception during growth and development relates to a complex age- and gender-specific balance between body size, stage and timing of pubertal maturation, eating habits as well as parental and peer influences. From a broader perspective, improving adequate body perception entails optimising this balance by influencing one or more of the individual, societal and environmental factors that determine health outcomes among children and adolescents, tracking into adulthood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 73 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1482
National Category
Pediatrics Nutrition and Dietetics Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Clinical Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123861 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-123861 (DOI)978-91-7685-947-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-10, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2016-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Allansson, ElinNelson, Nina

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