Body image and the double burden of nutrition among South Africans from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds : SANHANES-1

Mchiza, Zandile June-Rose ; Parker, Whadi-ah ; Sewpaul, Ronel ; Onagbiye, Sunday Olawale ; Labadarios, Demetre (2020-01)

CITATION: Mchiza, Z.J.-R. et al. 2020. Body image and the double burden of nutrition among South Africans from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds: SANHANES-1. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(3). doi:10.3390/ijerph17030887

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This study investigated the associations between underweight, obesity and body image (BI) among 15+ year-old South Africans with diverse socio-demographic backgrounds. A cross-sectional survey and the analyses of data for 6411 15+ year-old participants in the first South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was undertaken. Body image was compared to body mass index (BMI) and socio-demography. Data were analyzed using SPSS versions 25. Results are in percentages, means, 95% confidence intervals, p-values, and odds ratios. Overall, participants who were obese of which majority: were females, earned ZAR 9601+, completed grade 6, were non-Black men, were married and resided in urban formal areas, were more likely to underestimate their BMI and desire to be lighter. Participants who were underweight of which majority: were males, had no form of income or education, were black men, were not married, resided in less urban and farm areas, were younger than 25 years, were more likely to overestimate their BMI and desire to be heavier. While underweight and obesity were strong determinants of BI, BI was differentiated by socio-demography. These findings have a public health implication that requires special attention to curb the irrepressible underweight and obesity in South Africa. Keywords: body image; body mass index; socio-demography; body size dissatisfaction; body size misreporting; age; household income; ethnicity; gender; education level

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