Satisfaction with body weight among adolescents with excess weight: findings from a cross-sectional population-based study


Sao Paulo Med. J.




ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Individuals who are overweight or obese often underestimate their size, and they are less likely to consider their weight status to be a health problem and consequently to make lifestyle changes. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the proportion of satisfaction with weight among adolescents classified as overweight/obese, according to sociodemographic factors, morbidities and health-related behaviors. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional population-based study conducted among adolescents aged 10 to 19 years in the city of Campinas (SP), Brazil. METHODS: The sample (n = 217) included participants with self-reported weight and height who were classified as overweight or obese, based on body mass index (BMI) according to age-specific cutoff points recommended by the World Health Organization. Participants whose answer to the question: “Would you like to gain or lose weight?” was “no” (i.e. no change) were deemed to be satisfied with their body weight. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using logistic regression. RESULTS: The proportions of the respondents who were satisfied with their weight were 75.8% (95% CI: 65.3-83.9) among the overweight adolescents and 24.2% (95% CI: 16.1-34.7) among the obese adolescents (P < 0.01). Satisfaction was lower among individuals aged 15 to 19 years (versus 10 to 14 years), those born outside of Campinas (versus in Campinas), those with ≥ 8 household appliances (versus < 8), and those reporting ≥ two health complaints (versus none). CONCLUSIONS: More than half of the overweight adolescents and almost a quarter of the obese adolescents were satisfied with their weight. These results support the need for strategies for healthy weight management among Brazilian adolescents.

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