The impact of weight, sex, and race/ethnicity on body dissatisfaction among urban children

Body Image. 2011 Sep;8(4):385-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2011.04.011. Epub 2011 Jun 12.


The purpose of the current study was to examine the relative contributions of weight status, race/ethnicity, sex, and age on body dissatisfaction in a large group of diverse children. Participants were 4th-6th graders (N=1212) in ten inner-city schools who participated in an obesity prevention study previously published. Children completed the body dissatisfaction subscale of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2), and weight status was assessed by measured weights and heights. Multiple regression analyses were conducted. Relative weight status was the strongest predictor of body dissatisfaction, followed by race/ethnicity, and sex. Body dissatisfaction was greatest in obese, Asian, and female children. Overall, results indicated that children's body dissatisfaction varies based on relative weight status, as well as race/ethnicity and sex among urban children. Results highlight the strong need for additional research so that more definitive conclusions may be drawn regarding the development of body image among diverse groups of children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Asian / psychology*
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / ethnology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / ethnology*
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Overweight / ethnology*
  • Overweight / psychology*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Philadelphia
  • Psychometrics
  • Thinness / ethnology*
  • Thinness / psychology*
  • Urban Population*
  • White People / psychology*