Friday, August 28, 2009

I Can't Get No BMI Satisfaction

from my seedling, but I try. Oh how I try...

First of all my disclaimer… I am not in the public health field, and nor will I ever be. However, I do (as most people should) have an interest in certain findings especially if they relate to me and my family. I have a “pre-teen” girl, so these findings are interesting as I am already aware that she is conscious of her body image. Sometimes she likes it and at other times she doesn’t. I just want to know if I’ll be paying for her therapy for years to come.

The study (soon to be) published regarding overweight children and their "happiness" regarding their self-image has interesting results. What was most surprising is that normal weight boys overall had a more negative image of themselves than girls did. However, girls’ satisfaction with themselves was reduced when their BMI increased.

Girls - Poor body satisfaction
Normal 5.7%
Overweight 10.4%
Obese 13.1 %

Boys - Poor body satisfaction
Normal 7.6%
Overweight 8.4%
Obese 8.1%

Now the reason why this is so interesting is that there have been previous studies that claim that poor body satisfaction can be indicative of their future health (namely eating disorders). The authors also claim that the satisfaction of body image can change over time. Are the children at risk for eating disorders always unhappy with their bodies or just sometimes? I can see that I have to read many more papers to see if someone answered that question. Also, these numbers seem relatively low. Only ~13% of obese girls feel that they have poor body satisfaction?! That is not a lot. Less than 10% of all of the boys in each of the 3 different groups felt they had poor body satisfaction. I am surprised because I expected that over 50% of the obese children would feel that they don't like their bodies from the girls and the boys. Very surprising. (And they took a relatively large sample size; over 2000 girls and boys each were analyzed).

Oh well... I will keep my little seedling active (with hockey, soccer, and dance) and save up some money for her therapy ('cause you know its gonna happen; if not this she will have to go because I kept her too active as a child and she missed lounging around and that ruined her for life). But she will keep questioning her image. I know I still do (and I’m relatively happy with my body… all the parts are in the right places, lol, oh my! how expectation lowers as you get older!)

And Open Access:

Austin, B.S., Haines, J., Veugelers, P.J. (2009). Body satisfaction and body weight: gender differences and sociodemographic determinants. BCM Public Health. (In Press) Accessed (August 28, 2009):

BioMed Central (2009, August 28). 10- And 11-year-olds Feel Pressure To Have A Perfect Body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2009, from­ /releases/2009/08/090826191843.htm

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