Body image and C-reactive protein in adolescents

Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 May;33(5):597-600. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.28. Epub 2009 Feb 10.


Background: The association between inflammation and obesity is well documented; however, there is little evidence linking physiological markers of inflammation and psychosocial factors such as body image. This study examined the relation between body image and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Methods: Data were available for 1503 adolescents aged 13 and 16 years in a province-wide survey of a representative sample of youth in Quebec, Canada. Participants completed questionnaires assessing body image indicators of social pressures to lose weight and personal body shape discrepancies, provided a fasting blood sample for CRP, and had height and weight measured.

Results: In separate multivariable logistic regression models for girls and boys, body shape discrepancy was positively associated with CRP (boys: OR=2.6, 95% CI=1.4-4.8; girls: OR=2.2, 95% CI=1.2-4.3) independent of body mass index, puberty status and socio-demographic variables.

Conclusions: Adverse biological markers of cardiometabolic risk and negative body image are associated in adolescence. These findings suggest that, in addition to the well-known psychological problems, negative body image perceptions may also threaten adolescent's physical health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Body Height
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Quebec
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Environment
  • Social Perception
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss


  • C-Reactive Protein