AimTo assess the ideal body weight and BMI of the participantsand to survey the body image dissatisfaction and weight loss methods taken upby adolescents from different educational streams.Objectives· To assess thenutritional status of the adolescent girls and compare it with their bodydissatisfaction or satisfaction.· To assess the effectsof self-esteem, peers, social media and Physical Activity on Body image.· To compare theabove results in Home science, Science and Non science students.AdolescentsAdolescents account for 1.2 billion of the world’spopulation. As per the UNICEF The State of the World’s Children, 2011 report,India has the largest National population of adolescents. The Census 2011 data(provisional) shows that there are more than 225 million adolescents in India,who account for almost 21 percent of the country’s population.
(Jha, 2012)Adolescence is the bridge between childhood andadulthood and thus has this immense importance. Adolescents during this periodwill grow not just physically but also mentally. They look for their identityand their place in the society, they learn about the expectations, their rolesand duties.
Such large scale of change also makes them sensitive to issuesaround us and thus day to day issues have more serious impact on them. Body image is a multidimensional construct central toemotional well-being in which the attitudinal component is satisfaction withbody size, a factor associated with self-esteem. (Pitch, et.
al, 2013).Research from prospective and longitudinal designs hasidentified body dissatisfaction as one of the most consistent and robust risk factorsfor eating disorders such as bulimia and as a significant predictor of lowself-esteem, depression, and obesity. Thus, in many ways, body dissatisfaction hasemerged as a core aspect of women’s physical and mental health. (Grabe, et.al,2008) “Bodydissatisfaction, is a powerful most potent and consistent precursor of a wholerange of unhealthy body-related behaviours like- unhealthy dieting regimes andproblematic eating behaviours (starving bingeing and purging), clinical eatingdisorders (anorexia, bulimia), cosmetic surgery, extreme exercising, andunhealthy muscle-enhancing behaviours. It is also linked to depression,anxiety, sexual dissatisfaction, and low self-esteem.” (Maran, et.
al, 2012)Body dissatisfaction in a study conducted by (Pitch,et.al, 2013) relates it with the eating patterns and food consumption. Adolescentswith desire to lose weight are more likely to have 3 meals per day or even lessand overfat girls are more likely to skip breakfast to do so as compared tooverfat boys were majorly satisfied with their body weight.In adolescents girls particularly are more concernedand aware of their body image as compared to boys.
Females attach moreimportance on appearance and are preoccupied with their weight from a veryearly age. (Lowry, et.al, 2002). The issue of body image, the growing concernof one’s body shape and size due to portrayal of a lean and tall body as the’ideal body shape’. Urban women who are heavily exposed to western culture areprone to chase this ‘ideal body shape’.
(Zimik, et.al, 2016). Every otherperson is after this ‘ideal body shape’ and specially adolescents who easilyfall prey to societal pressures, social norms and are active members of manysocial media handles.There can be innumerable reasons for a person to havethis distorted body image and body dissatisfaction. A low self-esteem is onesuch main and significant internal precursor. Self-esteem can be described as afavourable or unfavourable attitude toward self.
(Rosenberg, 1965). It is ofparticular importance in adolescence as self-esteem is naturally low in thisperiod as compared to rest of the stages of life. Girls especially are morevulnerable group. (Birndorf ,Ryan et.al,2005) Self-esteem increases from adolescence to middleadulthood, peaks at about age 50 to 60 years, and then decreases at an acceleratingpace into old age. (Ortho, et.al, 2014). Effects of low esteem can be seen invarious external risky behaviours, mental disorders like eating disorders,depression and anxiety, risky health behaviours and poor social outcomes.
(Mann, Hosman, et. al, 2004)Friends and peers play a major indispensable role inthis period and thus are significant contributors to this issue. The need togive a good impact on peers and friends for the acceptance in the social circleis the driving force behind majority of teen’s behaviours. According to a studyfriends are the major source of information on bodily changes and body image, abit more for girls from a joint family as compared to nuclear family. (Jha,2012)Advent of technology and growth of social media hasonly added to Social media has its infinite gifts but along with all thesepositive impacts one cannot deny some serious issues that it brings. Socialmedia has increased the social boundaries beyond just peers, neighbours andrelatives and made it almost limitless and thus also making online bullying,stalking, body shaming and various other cybercrimes a day to day part of ourlife. Social media’s portrayal of unrealistic body image hassignificant effect on women than on men. Western magazines especially thatportray a certain beauty and fashion has negative effect on mood and greaterbody dissatisfaction.
(Levine, et.al, 2010). The women portrayed by media are15% below the average weight of women and generally thinner and are growingthinner by the time.
The exposure tothese thin images has caused an increase in Eating disorders due to lowself-esteem, body dissatisfaction, negative moods etc. (Hawkins et.al, 2004)Reasons for weight loss or attempts to control weightare many with internal factors like low self-esteem, poor nutrition knowledge,body dissatisfaction and low confidence on oneself or external factors likesocial bullies, societal pressure, etc. The sad truth remains that there arevast majority of girls trying to manage their weight without the correctknowledge or guidance.
Adolescents today are always trying to lose weight andtake extreme measures for the same without any medical supervision just too fitin the society. Some of which are purging, low fat diets, physical activity,diet of fruits and vegetables etc. According to a study the 3 majorly adoptedmethods of weight loss are reduced fat in diet, exercise and a diet of fruitsand vegetables.
(Bhurtum, et.al, 2013)These weight control measures are generally harmlessif they are for shorter time intervals but as they progress they sometimes takea serious turn and can lead to Eating Disorder.Eating disorders (ED) are one of the most commonpsychiatric problems faced by adolescents, and are characterized by apersistent course, comorbid psychopathology, medical complications, and elevatedmortality. Earlier only western cultures were said to have prevalence of Eatingdisorders but today even developing countries like India are showingsignificant prevalence of ED. One study showed 26.7% and other showed 26.67%prevalence of high risk for Eating disorder in their study population.
(Babu,Aroor 2017), (Upadhyah, Misra, et .al, 2014)No organ system is spared the effects of eatingdisorders. They rank as the thirdmost common chronic illness in adolescent females, with an incidence of up to5%. The physical signs and symptoms occurring in adolescents with an eatingdisorder are primarily related to weight-control behaviours and the effects ofmalnutrition.
(Golden, et.al, 2003)But need and knowledge of physical activity for weightloss is still ambiguous. Teenagers either prefer extreme diets and skippingmeals or exercisingPhysical activityof girlsPhysical activity has numerous benefits like weightmaintenance, reduction of CVDs, strong bones and muscles, improved generalfitness and so on. The most significant effect no doubt being weight loss.
Forweight loss physical activity along with dietary restriction is the correct wayto go and this practise should continue even after the weight loss to maintainthe loss in weight for longer duration. (Swift,et.al, 2013).
Generally we associated physical activity with weightloss, which is true as no weight loss is possible without proper physicalactivity but it also plays a very significant and lesser known role which itseffect on mental well-being. Increasesin physical activity was associated with increases in perceived physicalconditioning, body satisfaction, and overall physical self-worth independent ofchanges in body mass index (BMI). (Goldfield, Mallory et.
al, 2007).NeedThere are numerous studies to prove the alarming ratesof body weight distortion and a keen interest to lose weight. This pattern isin high rise especially in young girls. The methods to lose weight take up afatal turn when they become ‘Eating disorders’, cases which are increasing dayby day especially in girls. ScopeThis study aims at one of significant present problemand will help to understand teenagers behaviour towards their body image andweight management. Also in India there very few studies and findings on thebody as compared to others parts of the world.
(Zimik, 2016). More studies willhelp in better understanding of teens knowledge, attitude and behaviour towardstheir health.This information can be used for further studies whichconcerned with health, teenagers, weight management, teen behaviour etc. Thisstudy is an attempt to understand the behaviours that ultimately lead to fataleating disorders and health implications.