International Journal of Exercise Science 11(5): 957-967, 2018. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences between body composition, social physique anxiety (SPA) and appearance satisfaction among college students by sex and BMI. A secondary purpose was to assess levels of appearance satisfaction before and after body composition testing and discover any differences between perceived body fat percentage (BF%) and weight versus actual measurements.Participants included 212 college students (93 males, 119 females), 22.0 ± 2.2 years. They answered a demographic questionnaire, the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS), post-assessment questions, and underwent body composition testing via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). There was a significant correlation between measured BF% and SPAS scores (r = 0.531, P< 0.001). Males scored lower on the SPAS compared to females (25.3 ± 9.4 vs. 33.1 ± 9.1, P< 0.001). The sample underestimated BF% with females underestimating by more than males, 5.7 ± 7.3% vs. 3.7 ± 5.4%, P= 0.036. There was no difference between perceived and measured weight for women (P= 0.500) however, males overestimated their weight (P= 0.004). There was a difference in appearance satisfaction pre and post body composition for females (pre = 4.4 ±1.7, post = 4.2 ±1.9, P= 0.026) but not for males (pre = 5.3 ±1.5, post = 5.0 ±1.8, P= 0.063). Overall, males had lower levels of SPA and higher levels of appearance satisfaction than females and knowledge of BF% negatively affected appearance satisfaction scores for females. Finally, both males and females underestimated BF% compared to DXA.
McLester, Cherilyn N.; Hicks, Courtenay S.; Miller, Lauren; and McLester, John R.
"An Investigation of the Differences between Perceived vs. Measured Body Composition, Social Physique Anxiety, and Overall Appearance Satisfaction among College Students,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 11
5, Pages 957 - 967.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol11/iss5/13