Associations between body satisfaction and physical activity in adolescents: Implications for programs aimed at preventing a broad spectrum of weight-related disorders

Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Connie Goeden, Mary Story, Melanie Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined associations among body satisfaction and physical and sedentary activities in 4,746 adolescents. Boys with lower body satisfaction reported significantly less physical activity and more TV viewing than boys with higher body satisfaction. In girls, trends were similar, but associations were not statistically significant. Associations were similar among overweight youth. In no instances, were lower levels of body satisfaction significantly associated with higher physical activity levels. These findings suggest that interventions that strive for increased physical activity in youth should avoid strategies that may lead to decreases in body satisfaction. Rather, programs should simultaneously strive to increase physical activity and improve body satisfaction. This type of approach may be effective in preventing obesity while avoiding increasing participants' risk for a low body satisfaction, unhealthy weight control practices, and eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalEating disorders
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

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