Are there different sociocultural influences on body image and body change strategies for overweight adolescent boys and girls?

Eat Behav. 2010 Aug;11(3):156-63. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 14.


This study examined how sociocultural messages differ for overweight and normal weight adolescents and how these messages predict body image and body change strategies. In total, 590 adolescents participated in the study. Overweight adolescents experienced greater body dissatisfaction, engaged in more strategies to lose weight, and experienced greater sociocultural messages to lose weight. Body dissatisfaction and sociocultural pressures predicted weight loss among overweight boys. Body image importance, and sociocultural pressures predicted increasing muscle bulk for normal and overweight boys. Weight loss for overweight girls was predicted by sociocultural pressures. Sociocultural pressures also predicted muscle increase for overweight and normal weight girls. Implications for intervention and prevention programs for overweight adolescent boys and girls are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Image*
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Media
  • Overweight / psychology*
  • Peer Group
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Environment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss