Overweight teens who are satisfied with their bodies are less depressed, less prone to unhealthy behaviors

A study to be published in the June 2012 issue of Journal of Adolescent Health looking at the relationships between body satisfaction and healthy psychological functioning in overweight adolescents has found that young women who are happy with the size and shape of their bodies report higher levels of self-esteem. They may also be protected against the negative behavioral and psychological factors sometimes associated with being overweight.

A group of 103 overweight adolescents were surveyed between 2004 and 2006, assessing body satisfaction, weight-control behavior, importance placed on thinness, self-esteem and symptoms of , among other factors.

"We found that girls with high body satisfaction had a lower likelihood of unhealthy weight-control behaviors like fasting, skipping meals or vomiting," said Kerri Boutelle, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Boutelle added that the positive relationship shown in this study between body a girl's happiness with her body and her behavioral and psychological well-being suggests that improving could be a key component of interventions for overweight youth.

"A focus on enhancing self-image while providing motivation and skills to engage in effect weight-control behaviors may help protect young girls from feelings of depression, anxiety or anger sometimes association with being overweight," said Boutelle.

Related Stories

10- and 11-year-olds feel pressure to have a perfect body

date Aug 26, 2009

A study of 4254 Canadian schoolchildren has shown a direct association between BMI and satisfaction with their body shape. The research, published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, shows a linear response for gi ...

Recommended for you

Obese teens in study less likely to use contraception

date Jul 01, 2015

A study of nearly 1,000 teens found that sexually active obese adolescents were significantly less likely to use contraception than normal weight peers, putting them at higher risk of unintended pregnancy.

Extracurricular sports produce disciplined preteens

date Jul 01, 2015

Regular, structured extracurricular sports seem to help kids develop the discipline they need in order to engage effectively in the classroom, according to a new study led by Linda Pagani of the University ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
Apr 29, 2012
If overweight teens are satisfied, that probably just shows that their parents have not ridiculed them because of their weight.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.