Original paper

Body composition,weight status,body image and weight control practices among female adolescents from Eastern Austria

Bauer, Margit;Kirchengast, Sylvia

Abstract

The prevalence rates of obesity, but also of altered eating behaviour up to clinically manifested eating disorders have increased dramatically during the last years. In the present study the weight status, body composition and eating behaviour as well as weight controlling strategies of 1752 female adolescents ageing between 12 and 18 years (x=14.6) from Eastern Austria were documented. Furthermore,data regarding socioeconomic status and educational level of the probands were collected. It could be shown, that a higher educational level or a higher socioeconomic status was associated with a significantly lower fat percentage and a significantly lower prevalence of overweight and obesity. Underweight and severe underweight was predominantly found among girls ageing between 15 and 18 years of higher educational level. Weight controlling behaviour such as stepping on scale and altered or restricted eating behaviour was widespread among the probands, independent of weight status and socioeconomic parameters. Body weight and shape concerns were also found very frequently independent of educational level.The results of the present study corroborate the findings of former investigations, that disturbed eating behaviour and concerns regarding body weight and shape are found among all socioeconomic groups.

Keywords

Body compositionweight statusbody imageweight control practicesfemale adolescentsEastern Austria