Body weight perception and associated factors in students

  • Fernanda Nascimento Pereira Universidade de São Paulo
  • Jéssica Rodrigues de Oliveira Universidade de São Paulo
  • Cristina Carpentieri Zöllner Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo
  • Ana Maria Dianezi Gambardella Universidade de São Paulo


Objective: analyze the association between body weight perception and related variables in Elementary School students. Methods: cross-sectional study performed in 2007 with students aged 8 to 17, residents of Vitoria (ES). Anthropometric, demographic, socioeconomic and sexual maturation data were collected. Body weight perception was established by one single question of what the students thought of their own body weight in relation to their height. Logistic regression analysis stratified by gender was used to verify the associations among body weight perception and age, body mass index, waist circumference, pubertal stage and socioeconomic status. The reference category for analysis was “adequate weight perception”. Results: three hundred and ninety-seven students participated in the study, 52.4% were females, and the age average (standard deviation) was 12 (1.84) years. Nutritional status for boys and girls showed, respectively, 21.7% and 20.1% overweight, 76.9% and 77.8% normal weight for height, 1.4% and 2.1% underweight. There was statistic association between body weight perception and nutritional status (overweight) for both genders (boys: OR = 6.76, girls: OR = 19.58), and age (10 to 14 years) for boys (OR = 0.40). The other variables did not show any association. Conclusion: body weight perception was associated with nutritional status in both genders, and with age only for boys. This reinforces the need of health professionals to monitor these adolescents in order for them to have a better understanding of their own bodies.

Biografia do Autor

Fernanda Nascimento Pereira, Universidade de São Paulo
Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo.
Jéssica Rodrigues de Oliveira, Universidade de São Paulo
Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo.
Cristina Carpentieri Zöllner, Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo

Secretaria Estadual de Saúde do Espírito Santo. Departamento de Nutrição, Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo.

Ana Maria Dianezi Gambardella, Universidade de São Paulo
Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo.


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