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Nutritional status, dietary habits and body image perception in male adolescents

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Author(s): Juliusz Przysławski | Marta Stelmach | Bogna Grygiel-Górniak | Marcin Mardas | Jarosław Walkowiak

Journal: Acta Scientiarum Polonorum : Technologia Alimentaria
ISSN 1644-0730

Volume: 9;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 383;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: adolescents | nutritional habits | anthropometric measurements | body image perception

ABSTRACT
  Background. Anthropometric parameters provide a lot of information about body composition and nutritional status, regardless whether they relate to obesity or malnutrition. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between nutritional status, dietary habits and body image perception among male Polish adolescents. Material and methods. The study population primarily comprised 322 male adolescents aged 17-18 years from Western Poland, with thirty respondents however, dropping out of the study during its course. Anthropometric appraisal included body height and weight, four skinfolds thickness, circumferences of the waist, hip and arm. The percentage of fat mass and arm muscle area was calculated. The self-administrated questionnaires were used to estimate the frequency and quality of food intake, as well as the perception of body image of the studied subjects. In order to identify the similarity of nutritional habits and anthropometric parameters of adolescent males, cluster analysis was applied. Results. The mean values of body weight and height were close to 50th percentile. However, 10.7% of males were underweight, 10.7% overweight and 1.3% obese. The tendency to underestimate own level of fatness among overweight and obese subjects was observed. Over 90% of the studied subjects consider “average” silhouette as an ideal. Conclusions. Polish obese and overweight adolescents show a tendency to underestimate their level of fatness and perceive themselves as “average”, despite possessing an excessive amount of body fat.  
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