Feeling ‘too fat’ rather than being ‘too fat’ increases unhealthy eating habits among adolescents – even in boys
2016 (English)In: Food & Nutrition Research, ISSN 1654-6628, E-ISSN 1654-661X, Vol. 60, 29530Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Adolescence is a period of gender-specific physical changes, during which eating habits develop. To better understand what factors determine unhealthy eating habits such as dieting to lose weight, skipping meals and consumption of unhealthy foods, we studied how physical measurements and body perception relate to eating habits in boys and girls, before and during adolescence.
Methods: For this cross-sectional study, we obtained data from both written questionnaires and physical measurements of height, weight and waist circumference (WC).
Results: Dieting to lose weight and skipping breakfast were more common among adolescents than among younger boys and girls (p<0.05). The strongest risk factor for dieting in both boys and girls was perception of overweight, which persisted after adjusting for age and for being overweight (p<0.01). Another independent risk factor for dieting behaviour was overweight, as defined by body mass index (BMI) among boys (p<0.01) and WC among girls (p<0.05). In both boys and girls, skipping breakfast was associated with both a more negative body perception and higher BMI (p<0.05). Skipping breakfast was also associated with age- and gender-specific unhealthy eating habits such as skipping other meals, lower consumption of fruits and vegetables, and higher consumption of sweets and sugary drinks (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Body perception among adolescents is an important factor relating to unhealthy eating habits, not only in girls, but even in boys. Focus on body perception and eating breakfast daily is crucial for the development of healthy food consumption behaviours during adolescence and tracking into adulthood.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Co-Action Publishing , 2016. Vol. 60, 29530
Body image, overweight, adolescent behaviour, food habits, prevention
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123852DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v60.29530ISI: 000370126700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-123852DiVA: diva2:892842
On the day of the defence date the status of this article was Manuscript.
Funding agencies: Erik Johan Ljungberg Educational Fund; County Council of Ostergotland; Medical Research Council of south-east Sweden [FORSS-233111]2016-01-112016-01-112016-03-08Bibliographically approved