Abstract P210: Weight and Body Image Perceptions in Young, Low Income Adult Latinas with Imprecise Body Mass Index Classification
Introduction: Mexican American women in the US have the second highest prevalence of overweight or obesity (78.2%), 44.8% are obese, yet little research has examined the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and body satisfaction among young, low-income Latina adults.
Objective: To examine the relationships between knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about weight, body image and excess weight.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that (1) the women would incorrectly classify BMI; (2) the majority would be obese and (3) there is no difference in body satisfaction among those with and without excess weight.
Methods: A cross-sectional study with a convenience sample of 131 self-identified Latina women, ages 18 to 45 years was used from two Northern California clinics. An interview administered questionnaire assessed demographics, weight and body image. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, chi-square statistics, and logistic regression analysis.
Results: While 31% (n=41) classified themselves as having a healthy BMI, 21% (n= 27) met the criteria. Although 58% (n=77) classified themselves as overweight, 46% (n=60) met the criteria. Although 2% (n=3) classified themselves as obese, 34% (n=44) were obese. The majority of women (67%; n=88) reported that they were not at their ideal body weight. Of those who wanted to lose weight, the mean number of pounds they would have to lose to be at their ideal body weight was 15.5 (± 16). The mean body dissatisfaction score of those with excess weight was 2.2 (± 1.1) and 0.74 (± 1.4) for those with healthy BMI.
Conclusions: Most women underestimated their BMI category. Less than 6% (n=3) of obese women correctly classified themselves as obese. The misclassification and underreporting of excess weight was statistically significant (p≤ 0.05), pointing to a need for education about weight. Body dissatisfaction scores were higher in women with excess weight. Actual/current body silhouette sizes were statistically significantly associated with excess weight: (OR=2.78, 95% CI: 1.28, 6.04, p= 0.02).
Author Disclosures: J. Rinaldo: None. E. Froelicher: None. C. Waters: None. K. Bibbins-Domingo: None. N. Stotts: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.