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Original article

Body image perception and body dissatisfaction among rural Sri Lankan adolescents; do they have a better understanding about their weight?

Authors:

Bimba L. Goonapienuwala ,

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Bimba L.

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences

 

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya

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Suneth B. Agampodi,

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Suneth B.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences
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Nishan S. Kalupahana,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About Nishan S.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine
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Sisira Siribaddana

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Sisira
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences
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Abstract

Introduction

Adolescents have high vulnerability for body image distortions which may result in many psychological and physical problems. 


Objectives

This study aimed to determine body image perception and dissatisfaction among rural schooling adolescents in Sri Lanka.


Methods

Adolescents (aged 13-16 years) were selected using probability-based sampling framework.  Self-administered figure rating scale was used to assess perceived current (PCBS) and ideal (IBS) body size and body discrepancy score (BDS = PCBS – IBS).  Pubertal stage was assessed with pubertal development scale.  Anthropometry was done according to WHO guidelines.


Results

Of 3128 students studied, 47.8% were boys.  Median PCBS was 4 (inter quartile range 1) for boys and 4 (2) for girls.  Boys aspire a larger body size compared to girls and the respective median IBS were 5 (0) and 4 (1).  More boys (70.4%, n = 1053) than girls (66.4%, n = 1084) were dissatisfied about their current body size; χ2 = 5.5, df = 1, p < 0.05.  Overweight students recorded higher PCBS and were more dissatisfied with their body size when compared to others.  Nearly half of boys and 29.6% girls wanted to have a larger body size than their current.  The main influencing factor of body dissatisfaction was body mass index.


Conclusions

Body dissatisfaction is evident even among rural adolescents, affecting boys more than girls.  Many students show a desire to have a larger body size than their current.  This study also provides valid and reliable tools to assess body dissatisfaction and pubertal development in Sinhala speaking adolescents.

 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v64i3.8950
How to Cite: Goonapienuwala, B.L., Agampodi, S.B., Kalupahana, N.S. and Siribaddana, S., 2019. Body image perception and body dissatisfaction among rural Sri Lankan adolescents; do they have a better understanding about their weight?. Ceylon Medical Journal, 64(3), pp.82–90. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v64i3.8950
Published on 30 Sep 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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