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.
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