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J Korean Acad Fam Med. 1999 Apr;20(4):345-357. Korean. Original Article.
Song HJ , Oh MS , Ahn SH , Park MS , Yoo TW , Kang JH , Choi YI .
Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Sanggye-Paik Hospital, Inje University, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Pocheon Medical Center, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Obesity is not anly one of the risk factors that affects the prevalence and aggravation of chronic diseases, but is also the cause of social unfitness because slimness has become a standard of beauty. We surveyed on the satisfaction about self body image, the factors which are related to it and weight control behavior of the adolescents in a local area of Korea. METHODS: The survey was performed in a high school of Pocheon on August, 1996. Five classes out of 14 classes in 1st and 2nd grade were selected. The body mass index(BMI) was calculated from the measured height and weight. The satisfaction about body image which was estimated by the difference between present body image and wanted body image in 9 graded figures of body image was obtained from the questionnaire. The information about sex, religion, history of being teased about body image, body image of their parents, mean duration of watching TV in a day, body esteem, and binge-eating was obtained from the questiannaire and we evaluated the relationship between all of the above with BMI and body image satisfaction. We also investigated on the interest in education about weight control and efforts made by adolescents from the questionnaire on weight control behavior. RESULTS: Total of 224 students participated in this study and only 14.7% of them were satisfied with their body image. 58.9% wanted weight reduction and 26.4% wanted weight gain. They were more dissatisfied with their body image when they were girls(p<0.01), had the experience of being teased about their body image(p<0.01), had low body esteem(p<0.01), and had high BMl(p<0.01). We could not find statistically significant relationship between body image satisfaction and other factors such as religion, the duration of watching TV in a day, the body image of their parents and binge eating. 64.3% of the subjects tried to control their weight and most(87.5%) tried to lose weight. The selected methods were diet control(65.3%) and exercise(52.1%) and the most preferred method of diet control was skipping meah(45.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Most of adolescents were not satisfied with their body image and this dissatisfaction was related to gender, history of being teased about their body image, BMI, and body esteem. Many of them had tried to lose weight and among the methods of weight reduction, there were behaviors that were injurous to their health and growth

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