Table of Contents
Journal of Anthropology
Volume 2014, Article ID 264925, 6 pages
Research Article

Body Weight Concerns among Urban Adolescent Girls: A Microlevel Study

1Biological Anthropology Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 Barrackpore Trunk Road, Kolkata 700108, India
2Department of Anthropology, University of Allahabad, Allahabad 211002, India

Received 29 March 2014; Revised 15 June 2014; Accepted 15 June 2014; Published 2 July 2014

Academic Editor: Kaushik Bose

Copyright © 2014 Susmita Mukhopadhyay et al. 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.


Growing consciousness about ideal body image leads to dietary modifications and consequent eating disorders among girls in developing countries like India. The present study aims to (i) assess the prevalence of body weight consciousness and related behaviours among a group of adolescent girls; (ii) assess the sociodemographic correlates of weight related behaviours; and (iii) compare weight related behaviours of the girls of two religious groups residing in Howrah. The study is the outcome of a cross-sectional school based survey involving 280 (159 Hindu and 121 Muslim) girls from standards 8 to 11. Significant differences exist between two religious groups with respect to their family size, socioeconomic profile, and media exposures (in terms of watching television). Consciousness about body weight among girls shows significant difference with respect to religion, family size ( ), father’s occupation ( ), level of education of both the parents, and media exposure ( ). Consciousness about body weight drives them to adopt several behavioural measures like calorie restriction, food avoidance, and dieting. Sociodemographic correlates of all these behaviours have been analyzed. The study documents that concern over body image and weight loss is quite important among these urban girls.