Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


10- and 11-year-olds feel pressure to have a perfect body

A study of 4254 Canadian schoolchildren has shown a direct association between BMI and satisfaction with their body shape. The research, published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, shows a linear response for girls, who were happiest when thinnest, and a U-shaped response for boys, who were unhappy when they were too skinny or too fat.

Bryn Austin worked a team of researchers from Harvard University and the University of Alberta, Canada, to investigate the relationship between size and body satisfaction, as well as the effects of rural/urban residence, parental education and income, and neighborhood household income.

She said, "There is a well-established relationship between poor body satisfaction and increased risk of disordered weight control behaviors, including vomiting, fasting, and use of laxatives and diet pills for weight control. Importantly, body satisfaction appears to be responsive to school-based interventions.

To increase our understanding of body satisfaction and its links with BMI in childhood, we studied the prevalence of poor body satisfaction in prepubescent girls and boys, and its association with body weight and socioeconomic factors".

The researchers measured the height and weight of the 10-11 year old children and asked them to indicate how much they agree with the statement, "I like the way I look". Overall, 7.3% of girls and 7.8% of boys reported poor body satisfaction. For normal weight, overweight and obese girls the prevalence of poor body satisfaction was 5.7%, 10.4% and 13.1%, respectively. For boys this was 7.6%, 8.4%, and 8.1%, respectively. Girls from parents with low educational attainment and residing in rural areas were more likely to report poor body satisfaction.

Speaking about the results, Austin said, "Poor body satisfaction among males with a low BMI may reflect the cultural ideal for males to attain both muscularity and leanness; whereas, among females, thinness remains the culturally defined ideal body shape. Our finding that girls who reside in rural areas, controlling for BMI, are more likely to report poor body satisfaction suggests that appearance-related pressures may be higher within rural areas, or perhaps that girls in urban areas benefit from existing programs that may protect against decrements in body satisfaction".

1. Body satisfaction and body weight: gender differences and sociodemographic determinants
S. Bryn Austin, Jess Haines and Paul J. Veugelers
BMC Public Health (in press)
2. BMC Public Health is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in the epidemiology of disease and the understanding of all aspects of public health. The journal has a special focus on the social determinants of health, the environmental, behavioral, and occupational correlates of health and disease, and the impact of health policies, practices and interventions on the community. BMC Public Health (ISSN 1471-2458) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, CAS, Scopus, EMBASE, Current Contents, Thomson Reuters (ISI) and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central ( is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

Graeme Baldwin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>