Relationship between body satisfaction with self esteemand unhealthy body weight management

J Educ Health Promot. 2013 Jul 31;2:29. doi: 10.4103/2277-9531.115804. eCollection 2013.


Introduction: A favorable or unfavorable attitude about self was named self esteem. According to Maslow theory to achieve quality of life and happiness, one must reach the gradual fulfillment of human needs, including a high degree of own self-esteem. Body dissatisfaction is a negative distortion of one's body which is especially mentioned by the women. Many studies have shown links between self esteem, body dissatisfaction, health and behaviors. this study intends to determine relationship between body satisfaction, self esteem and unhealthy weight control behaviors between women.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was done on 408 women employees in Isfahan University and Isfahan University of Medical Sciences during 1390. They were chosen according to the stratified random sampling method. Inclusion criteria were 1) willing to participate in the study and 2) lack of serious physical defect 3) not being in pregnancy or breastfeeding course. Exclusion criteria was filling out questionnaires incompletely. Data collection tool was a multidimensional questionnaire which comprised of 4 sections as following: demographic (5items), A self-administrative questionnaire for body Satisfaction (7 items), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (10 items) and a standard Weight Control Behavior Scale (18 items). Cranach's alpha was 0.9 or higher for the different sections. Finally, collected data was analyzed with SPSS18 using the independent T-test, one-way ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficient, regression, Spearman correlation.

Results: Frequencies of participants by weight category were 14.1% for obese, 35.3% for overweight, 47.6% for normal weight. The mean body satisfaction score in the studied women was 63.26 ± 16.27 (from 100). Mean score of self esteem was 76.70 ± 10.45. 51.5% of women had medium self esteem, 47.5% had high self esteem. Pearson correlation showed that the variables of body Satisfaction (r = 0.3, P = 0.02), BMI (r = - 0.14, P < 0.003), education level (r = 0.22, P < 0.001), income (r = 0.14, P < 0.004), consumption of fruit (r = 0.13, P < 0.008) all correlated with self-esteem significantly. Women with higher self esteem used higher fruits had a good nutrition overall (r = 0.11, P = 0.02). 92.15%, 10.8% of women respectively participated in one of healthy and unhealthy weight control behavior. There was not any Relationship between self esteem and healthy weight control behavior while finding showed reverse relationship between self esteem and Unhealthy Dieting Behaviors.

Conclusion: It seemed women identity in our society tied to social appreciations that formed and supported by body satisfaction. When they feel their current appearance is differ from ideal appearance, they feel down and have lower self esteem and used unhealthy dieting behavior and low fruits daily. Due to importance of precise self evaluation, self esteem can be used to design and conduct public health programs, especially for women.

Keywords: Self esteem; unhealthy weight control behaviors; women.