De Barros, Thamyrys Mayara; Piekarski, Paula; Mezzomo, Thais Regina
Introduction: the desire for a body other than one’s own nutritional status is a marker of risk for eating disorders.
Aim: To verify the association between body image perception and nutritional status in adolescents of Brazilian public schools
Methods: Cross-sectional observational study with adolescents aged 14 to 18 enrolled in two state schools. To evaluate the nutritional status of the adolescents, we used the anthropometric indices height for age and body mass index for age. To evaluate the perception of body image, the MadrigalFritsch silhouettes scale for adolescents was applied in an individual interview. The association between the variables was performed by the chi-square test.
Results: A total of 194 adolescents with a mean age of 15.85 ± 1.01 years were evaluated. It was verified that 94.3% of the adolescents presented adequate height for age, 78.4% were eutrophic and 20.1% were overweight. According to body perception, 50.5% of adolescents are considered as eutrophic, 29.9% perceive themselves as overweight and 19.1% are obese. It was observed that 33% of adolescents perceive themselves differently from the classification of their nutritional status
Conclusion: most of the adolescents analyzed are eutrophic, however, a good portion presents self-perception of distorted body image. The percentage of excess weight is expressive in this population and deserves attention of health managers. Using strategies to demystify the perfect body and healthy eating are important in order to avoid problems resulting from altered body composition and perception.