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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013, Article ID 763624, 7 pages
Research Article

Body Image Dissatisfaction Is Increased in Male and Overweight/Obese Adolescents in Botswana

1University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
2Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, Botswana
3Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
4D’Youville College, Buffalo, NY 14201, USA
5School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Received 10 January 2013; Accepted 21 February 2013

Academic Editor: Khosrow Adeli

Copyright © 2013 L. Malete 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.


Introduction. The purpose of this study was to examine linkages between obesity, physical activity, and body image dissatisfaction, with consideration of socioeconomic status (SES) and urbanization in adolescents in Botswana. Materials and Methods. A nationally representative, cross-sectional survey in 707 secondary school students included measured height and weight to determine overweight (OW) or obesity (OB) using World Health Organization standards; physical activity (PA) using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire; and body image satisfaction using the Body Ideals Questionnaire. SES was described by private school versus public school attendance. Results and Discussion. OW/OB students felt farther from ideal and greater dissatisfaction with their weight and body proportions than optimal weight students. Boys felt greater difference from ideal and more dissatisfaction with muscle tone, chest size, and strength than girls. Lower SES students and those from rural villages had more minutes of PA than higher SES or urban students. In this rapidly developing African country, these trends reflect the nutrition transition and offer opportunity to motivate OW/OB students and boys for PA as a health promotion obesity prevention behavior. Conclusions. As urbanization and improved SES are desirable and likely to continue, the public health system will be challenged to prevent obesity while preserving a healthy body image.