Weight Perception Discrepancy Among Ethnically Diverse Youth
MetadataShow full item record
Weight perception discrepancy, the difference between a person’s medically classified weight status and their weight status as classified by their body mass index, is a growing problem. Such misperceptions of weight may be a barrier to treatment for weight-related health conditions. Youth who are overweight, but do not feel they are, may be less likely to initiate treatment which places them at a higher risk for many obesity related health conditions. Similarly, youth who are underweight, but do not feel they are, may be at risk for negative health conditions. Social Comparison Theory may provide a tool for evaluating identified discrepancies. Given that minorities have higher obesity rates, it is hypothesized that weight perception discrepancy is higher among these groups as the comparison is with a heavier than normal peers it may be skewed. This study used the Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System from 2009 to evaluate weight perception discrepancy among Caucasian, African American and Latino youth. Multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate discrepancies between these groups. Findings indicated that weight perception discrepancy varied by both gender and ethnicity. Females were more likely to over-estimate their weight category and Latino and African American males were more likely to under-estimate their weight category. Caucasian males were used as the comparison group for all estimations. Social Comparison Theory may provide a plausible explanation for the weight perception discrepancy differences identified for both minorities and females.
Cromwell, Kate Duncan (2011). Weight Perception Discrepancy Among Ethnically Diverse Youth. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from