Body Image, Eating Disorders and Role of Media among Indian Adolescents
Background: Undue concern about one’s body image is one of the psychological problems. Body image concerns are on the rise among adolescents and research suggest that it may accumulate even further.
Aim: To estimate the proportion of adolescents who have concerns about their body image and to understand the relationship between eating attitudes, media and famous personalities with body image concerns.
Methods: Study employed 550 students of pre-university colleges of Udupi taluk, Karnataka, India through multi stage sampling technique. Eating Attitudes Test and Socio-Cultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire were used to collect the data. Data were analyzed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences version 15.00. Analysis of variance and multinomial logistic regression were performed for analysis.
Results: Of the total participants 47.82 % were males. Participants who perceived themselves to be thin and fat were 29.82% and 32.54% correspondingly. Tendency to develop an eatingdisorder, prevalent among 31.09% participants, and being influenced by famous personalities were found to be significantly associated with body image concerns.
Conclusion: Parents, teachers and providers of health care should interact with their kin regarding the ill effects of being excessively concerned about their body structure and dieting. One should not believe anything and everything portrayed through the media. Policies and legislations should be employed to diminish the exposure of possible detrimental media messages on children and adolescent.