Body image dissatisfaction is increased in male and overweight/obese adolescents in Botswana

L. Malete, K. Motlhoiwa, S. Shaibu, B. H. Wrotniak, S. D. Maruapula, J. Jackson, C. W. Compher

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. The purpose of this study was to examine linkages between obesity, physical activity, and body image dissatisfaction, with consideration of socioeconomic status (SES) and urbanization in adolescents in Botswana. Materials and Methods. A nationally representative, cross-sectional survey in 707 secondary school students included measured height and weight to determine overweight (OW) or obesity (OB) using World Health Organization standards; physical activity (PA) using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire; and body image satisfaction using the Body Ideals Questionnaire. SES was described by private school versus public school attendance. Results and Discussion. OW/OB students felt farther from ideal and greater dissatisfaction with their weight and body proportions than optimal weight students. Boys felt greater difference from ideal and more dissatisfaction with muscle tone, chest size, and strength than girls. Lower SES students and those from rural villages had more minutes of PA than higher SES or urban students. In this rapidly developing African country, these trends reflect the nutrition transition and offer opportunity to motivate OW/OB students and boys for PA as a health promotion obesity prevention behavior. Conclusions. As urbanization and improved SES are desirable and likely to continue, the public health system will be challenged to prevent obesity while preserving a healthy body image.

Original languageEnglish
Article number763624
JournalJournal of Obesity
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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