Differences between actual body mass index and perceibed bod | 76361


Differences between actual body mass index and perceibed body mass index in female university students of Chile, Panama and Guatemala

Author(s): Durán Agüero, Samuel1; Díaz Narváez, Víctor2; Record Cornwall, Jiniva3; Cordón Arrivillaga, Karla4; Encina Vega, Claudia5; Araya Pérez, Mónica6

Introduction: The self-perception of nutritional status is associated to obesity risk.

Objective: To determine agreement between measured nutritional status and body image perception among female university students in Chile, Panama and Guatemala.

Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of 499 university students: 247 from Chile, 187 from Panama, and 64 from Guatemala. All participants completed the EAT-26 questionnaire and were shown anatomical models corresponding to body mass index (BMI) values of 18, 22, 25, 27, 30, 35 and 40 kg/m2. Students were asked to choose the model that best reflected their own body type, after which anthropometry was measured. Measured BMI was calculated and compared to perceived BMI.

Results: Perceived and measured BMI differed significantly among students in Chile and Guatemala; no statistical difference was found for Panamanian students. Agreement between perceived and actual BMI was highest among Guatemalan students.

Conclusions: The best agreement the Panama students, however Chilean and Guatemala students showed differences, indicating possible body image dissatisfaction or lack of accurate self-perception, which could result in risk for obtaining appropriate nutritional status.

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Journal Highlights
  • Blood Glucose
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  • energy balance
  • Diet quality
  • Clinical Nutrition and Hospital Dietetics