Body weight and body image among a sample of female and male South African university students

SOURCE: Gender and Behaviour
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2012
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, S.Pengpid
KEYWORDS: BODY IMAGE, MEN, OBESITY, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, WEIGHT MANAGEMENT, WOMEN
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7334

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess body weight and body image among South African male and female university students. Participants (N=289), 189 women and 100 men, were systematically chosen from non-health sciences courses in a class setting. The Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ) comprising of 10 subscales was administered and anthropometric measurements (weight and height) were taken. Results indicate that almost one-third (30.5%) of the women and 8.7% of the men were overweight or obese, and 15.2% of the men and 9.6% of the women were underweight, 3.4% of the women and none of the men were obese. A large proportion of the males and of the females had misconceptions about their body weight. Multivariable linear regression identified for women self-classified overweight, negative appearance orientation, positive health evaluation, positive illness orientation and overweight preoccupation as independent predictors for Body Mass Index (BMI), and for men self-classified overweight and overweight preoccupation as independent predictors for BMI. Body image perceptions are important in the management of weight control.