245235 Factors associated with overestimation of body weight among U.S. adolescents: Based on the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey results

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jinsook Kim, PhD, MPH, DDS , School of Nursing and Health Studies, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL
Background and Significance: Inaccurate perception of body weight can lead to unhealthy weight management practices and negative health outcomes among adolescents. Objective: To identify factors associated with inflated perception of weight status among adolescents. Methods: The analysis used an adolescent sample (12-18 years old, N =14,939) from the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with overestimation of weight status. Results: Similar proportions of the sample were overweight or obese (gender-specific body mass index for age ≥85 percentile) (29%) and perceived themselves as overweight (28%). However, discrepancies existed between actual and perceived weight status. African Americans were least likely (5%) while Asian Americans were most likely (14%) to overestimate their weight status. Girls were more likely to overestimate weight status than boys (14.6 vs. 4.7%). Depression was also associated with inflated perception of weight (13.0 vs. 8.1%). In multiple regression, being female (odds ratio (OR) =3.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) =2.83-3.93) and being depressed (OR =1.41, 95% CI =1.22-1.63) were significantly associated with overestimation of weight status, holding age and race/ethnicity constant. All other racial/ethnic groups were more likely than African Americans to overestimate their weight status with Asian Americans presenting the largest odds (OR =3.40, 95% CI =2.60-4.45), controlling for gender, age, and depression status. Conclusion: To prevent inappropriate weight loss attempts and resultant negative health outcomes, prevention programs should target groups more vulnerable to overestimation based on the differences in perception of weight by demographic characteristics and mental health status.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify 3 factors associated with inflated perception of weight status among adolescents. 2. Describe differences in perception of weight status among adolescents by race/ethnicity.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Weight Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research on social ecology of health and adolescent health and teach health behavior theories and research methods at a university.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.