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Perception of Being Fat Harm Teens

mirrorA new German study discovers the quality of life of adolescents who think they are too fat is worse than for adolescents who really are obese.

The findings are the result of a study of almost 7000 boys and girls aged between 11 and 17 years were weighed and asked about their self-assessment, ranging from “far too thin” to “far too fat.”

In addition, they all completed a questionnaire about quality of life. As a result of their analysis, the scientists established that about three quarters of adolescents are of normal weight.

Almost 55 percent of the girls, but just under 36 percent of the boys thought that they were “too fat,” although only about 18 percent of the adolescents were actually overweight. 7 percent to 8 percent of the adolescents were underweight.

The quality of life is lower in obese adolescents. However, this correlates to a large extent with self-evaluation. If adolescents think they are “far too fat,” they forfeit a lot of their quality of life, whatever their actual weight.

This is particularly marked with girls. On the other hand, if they consider their weight “just right,” their quality of life is the same as if they were of normal weight, even if this is not true.

The proportion of adolescents who think they are overweight has been increasing more rapidly in recent years than the proportion of those who really are overweight.

In an accompanying editorial, Johannes Hebebrand points out that adolescents are exposed to considerable social pressure to be thin. He thinks that it is remarkable that as many as 40 percent of the subjects thought that their weight was right, in spite of the ideal of slimness and the stigma of being overweight.

Source: Deutsches Aerzteblatt International

Perception of Being Fat Harm Teens

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Perception of Being Fat Harm Teens. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 26, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/06/23/perception-of-being-fat-harm-teens/2486.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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