Body image satisfaction among female college students


OBJECTIVE To determine body image satisfaction among newly entrant women students in a professional institution. MATERIALS AND METHODS A cross-sectional study using body image satisfaction described in words was undertaken, which also explored relationship with body mass index (BMI) and other selected co-variables such as socio-demographic details, overall satisfaction in life, and particularly in academic/professional life, current health status using 5-item based Likert scale. Height, weight, hip and waist circumference measurement was carried out using standard protocol. Data collection was carried through personal interview using pre-designed, pre-tested semi-structured interview schedule by female investigators during August-September 2010 and analysis carried out by computing percentages and Chi-square test. RESULTS Out of 96 study samples, 16.66%, 51.04%, and 32.29% girl students perceived their body image as fair, good and excellent, respectively while overall 13.54% were dissatisfied with their body image. The body image satisfaction had significant relationship with image perception (P<0.001), current general health status (P<0.001) and self weight assessment (P<0.001). Mother's education had a statistically significant (P=0.004) but negative relationship with outcome variable. Students with low weight (BMI <18.5 kg/m(2)) had a significantly higher (85.71%) prevalence of body image satisfaction while overweight students (BMI≤23 kg/m(2)) had a significantly higher (54.54%) prevalence of dissatisfaction (P<0.001). DISCUSSION High body image satisfaction is reported in this study and was found to be significantly related to anthropometric measurements. On an encouraging note, this level needs to be preserved for overall mental and healthy development of students. Proactive preventive measures could be initiated on personality development, acceptance of self and individual differences while maintaining optimum weight and active life style.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.119653