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ISRN Nutrition
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 395125, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2013/395125
Research Article

Body Weight Perception and Weight Control Practices among Teenagers

Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius

Received 7 June 2013; Accepted 16 July 2013

Academic Editors: P. Crenn, R. Moore-Carrasco, and P. V. Torres Durán

Copyright © 2013 Darshini Devi Bhurtun and Rajesh Jeewon. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Weight-loss behaviours are highly prevalent among adolescents, and body weight perception motivates weight control practices. However, little is known about the association of body weight perception, and weight control practices among teenagers in Mauritius. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between actual body weight, body weight perception, and weight control practices among teenagers. Methods. A questionnaire-based survey was used to collect data on anthropometric measurements, weight perception and weight control practices from a sample of 180 male and female students (90 boys and 90 girls) aged between 13 and 18 years old. Results. Based on BMI, 11.7% of students were overweight. Overall, 43.3% of respondents reported trying to lose weight (61.1% girls and 25.6% boys). Weight-loss behaviours were more prevalent among girls. Among the weight-loss teens, 88.5% students perceived themselves as overweight even though only 19.2% were overweight. Reducing fat intake (84.6%), exercising (80.8%), and increasing intake of fruits and vegetables (73.1%) and decreasing intake of sugar (66.7%) were the most commonly reported methods to lose weight. Conclusion. Body weight perception was poorly associated with actual weight status. Gender difference was observed in body weight perception.