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Escritos de Psicología (Internet)

On-line version ISSN 1989-3809Print version ISSN 1138-2635


RAMOS, Pilar et al. Gender differences in body image and its relevance in body weight control. Escritos de Psicología [online]. 2016, vol.9, n.1, pp.42-50. ISSN 1989-3809.

Adolescence is the most vulnerable stage for the emergence of body image issues. This study examined the differences between boys and girls (ranging from 13 to 18 years old) in Body Mass Index (BMI), perception of and satisfaction with their body image, and dieting to lose weight. The results show that girls, although being less overweight and obese than boys, were more dissatisfied with their body image, had a greater perception of obesity, and tended to diet to control their weight with greater frequency. In both groups, body image perception was more relevant than the adjusted bodyweight calculated by BMI in predicting behaviour regarding dieting to lose weight. Furthermore, body image satisfaction was also more relevant than BMI in predicting dieting in girls. The results highlight the importance of taking into account adolescents' perceptions of their body image when designing, developing, and implementing intervention programs aimed at the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. Moreover, the gender differences found imply the need to take into account the differing perceptions of boys and girls to improve the likelihood of success of interventions.

Keywords : Body Image; Weight Control; Body Mass Index; Adolescence; Gender Differences.

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