Body image dissatisfaction and its relationship with physical activity and nutritional status in university students

  • Elisa Pinheiro Ferrari
  • Alex Pinheiro Gordia
  • Cilene Rebolho Martins
  • Diego Augusto Santos Silva
  • Teresa Maria Bianchini de Quadros
  • Edio Luiz Petroski

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association of body image dissatisfaction with physical activity level and nutritional status in freshmen from a public Brazilian university. A total of 832 university students (485 men) with a mean age of 20.1 years (standard deviation = 4.6) participated in the study. Self-reported body weight and height were used for the calculation of body mass index. The students responded to the Body Shape Questionnaire and International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Fisher’s exact test, considering p < .05. The prevalence of body image dissatisfaction and physical inactivity was 10.1% and 14.5%, respectively. No significant association was observed between body image dissatisfaction and physical activity level. Body image dissatisfaction was associated with nutritional status in both genders (p < .05). University students with excess body weight should be encouraged to pursue a healthier lifestyle in order to promote an adequate nutritional status and also to improve their body image.
Published
2012-09-30
Section
Original Article