Katherine Sullivan, Jacob Broeckel, Casey J. Metoyer, Andrew D. Fields, Madelyn K. Simmang, Michael R. Esco, FACSM, Michael V. Fedewa. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

BACKGROUND: Body dissatisfaction refers to a negative perception or evaluation of one’s body or physical appearance. Higher body dissatisfaction negatively impacts self-esteem, perceived quality of life, and can increase the risk of disordered eating, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. PURPOSE: To examine the association between body dissatisfaction and health-related components among women. METHODS: A convenience sample of 29 female adults were included in our analysis (90% Caucasian, 24.8±9.2 yrs., 24.9±3.6 kg/m2). Body mass and height were measured and used to calculate body mass index (BMI). Body dissatisfaction scores (BDS) were calculated using the body dissatisfaction subscale of the eating disorder inventory II (EDI-BD). Where applicable, EDI-BD items were reverse scored such that, higher BDS scores indicate greater body dissatisfaction. Health-related components included waist and hip circumference (cm), number of push-ups completed until exhaustion, average dominant and non-dominant hand-grip strength (kg), participant’s perceived functional ability to walk, jog, or run a one-mile and three-mile distance, BMI (kg/m2), physical activity (MET-minutes/week) derived from the short form International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and relative adiposity (%Fat) derived from Dual X-ray Absorptiometry. Bivariate correlations were used to examine the direction and strength of the association between BDS and health-related components. The strength of each r value was considered weak (r=0.2), moderate (r=0.5), or strong (r=0.8). Data are presented as mean±standard deviation, with p<0.05 used to determine statistical significance. RESULTS: No statistically significant correlations (p>.05 for all) were observed between BDS and waist or hip circumference (r=.144, r=.282, respectively), push-ups (r=-.215), dominant or non-dominant hand-grip strength (r=-.121, r=-.086, respectively), perceived ability to complete one-mile or three-miles (r=-.289, r=-.258), BMI (r=.240), or physical activity (r=.094). Significant, moderate correlations were observed between BDS and %Fat (r=.426, p=.021). CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate a moderate, linear relationship between %Fat and body dissatisfaction. Given the relatively homogenous age, race, and BMI characteristics of the current study, the association between body dissatisfaction and health-related components should be further examined within a larger and more diverse sample.

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