Body self-perception in subjects beginning a three-month multifaceted group weight loss programme
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Arch Psych Psych 2011;13(2):31-35
Aim. Disturbances of body self-perception may lead to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and obesity. This self-perception is one of the most important factors influencing the decision to begin weight reduction therapy. The aim of this study was to assess self-perception of subjects that became involved with a multifaceted group weight loss programme. Material and methods. The study group involved 80 obese subjects starting a three month multifaceted group weight loss programme (age 41.8 +/- 11.9 years, BMI 35.7 +/- 5.3 kg/m(2)). At the commencement of the first meeting, body self-perception was assessed using the Figure Rating Scale adapted by Stunkard's (FRS), followed by anthropometric measurements and BMI calculation. The figures corresponding to the calculated BMI were compared with the figures selected by the participants using the FRS scale. Results. In 78.7% (n=63) of subjects, body self-perception was parallel to BMI. Whereas in the remaining 21.3% (n=17) of subjects, body self-perception differed from the BMI. Seven subjects visualised their own figure as more obese and 10 subjects perceived their own figure as less obese. The increased disturbance of body self-perception correlated positively with age, body mass, and BMI (r=0.32, p=0.005; r=0.30, p=0.01 and r=0.34, p=0.01, respectively). Conclusion. Body self-perception in the majority of obese subjects beginning a multifaceted group weight loss programme is accurate. Increased disturbance in self-perception of obesity corresponds with increases of age, body mass, and BMI.
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