Misperception of weight status in the pacific: preliminary findings in rural and urban 11- to 16-year-olds of New CaledoniaReport as inadecuate

Misperception of weight status in the pacific: preliminary findings in rural and urban 11- to 16-year-olds of New Caledonia - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

BMC Public Health

, 17:25

Energy balance-related behaviors


BackgroundAdolescent obesity is prevalent in Pacific region ethnic groups European, Melanesian and Polynesian living in both urban and rural areas. Although body perception is an important factor of weight gain or loss, little is known about the body self-perceptions of Pacific region adolescents. This study therefore evaluated adolescent perceptions of body weight according to ethnicity European, Melanesian or Polynesian, socioeconomic status low, intermediate or high and living area rural or urban in New Caledonia.

MethodsSociodemographic and anthropomorphic data from 737 adolescents 351 boys and 386 girls with ages ranging from 11 to 16 years were collected and analysed. The International Obesity Task Force IOTF standards were used to define weight status as normal-weight, underweight or overweight-obese. Weight perception was assessed from detailed questionnaires, with adolescents rating their own weight with the following descriptors: ‘about the right weight’, ‘too heavy’, or ‘too light’.

ResultsResults showed that only 8.5% of normal-weight adolescents 7% boys and 10% girls identifying themselves as ‘too heavy’. Normal-weight Melanesian adolescents were less likely than their European counterparts to assess themselves as too heavy OR = 0.357. However, half the overweight-obese adolescents underestimated their weight status 53% boys and 48% girls. Weight misperception was associated with ethnicity, socioeconomic status and living area, with gender-specific differences.

ConclusionsThe results of this study suggest that these sociodemographic factors should be taken into account when designing public health policies and health education school programmes in New Caledonia and, more broadly, the Pacific region.

KeywordsWeight perception Overweight Adolescents Ethnicity Polynesian Melanesian AbbreviationsBFMBody fat mass

BMIBody mass index

IOTFInternational obesity task force

SESSocioeconomic status

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Author: Stéphane Frayon - Sophie Cherrier - Yolande Cavaloc - Guillaume Wattelez - Amandine Touitou - Paul Zongo - Kalina Yacef -

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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