Body Image Satisfaction and Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Children and Adolescents in the United States

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Introduction

Body image dissatisfaction continues to be a major concern in America’s youth, especially in girls. Statistics show that 40-70% of girls are unsatisfied with at least two parts of their body by the time that they enter middle school1. More than 50% of teenage girls and 30% of teenage boys practice unhealthy dieting behaviors to control their weight1. Satisfaction with appearance also appears to decrease with age1,2. Previous research shows that girls are more likely than boys to be dissatisfied with their body image and are more concerned about controlling their weight in an attempt to become more attractive3,4. It has also been found that body image satisfaction is strongly correlated to dietary behaviors, particularly in girls5-8. Ideal body image has also been associated with dietary intake9. Although a program designed to help improve body image satisfaction called the Girls on the Go! program has shown reductions in dietary behaviors, these results were not significant long-term10. Even if programs like this were proven to work long-term, it would be expensive and impractical to perform these programs nationwide. Therefore, a simpler and more widespread solution is needed, such as the ability to improve body image satisfaction through the diet.

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Although a correlation between body image perception and dietary intake has been found in children and adolescents, the research results are sparse and conflicting. This may be due to the fact that a lot of the research on this topic focuses more so on how an already negative body image affects dietary intake, while others seek to answer how dietary intake independently affects body image. One research study actually found conflicting results between ethnic groups in which Caucasian individuals who consumed an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables had higher levels of body image satisfaction; however, minority ethnic groups who consumed an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables had lower levels of body image satisfaction11. Additionally, fruit and vegetable intake has been shown to be positively correlated with body image dissatisfaction in overweight and obese Brazilian students; however, no correlation was found between the two variables in normal or underweight students12.

Aside from the conflicting results, the research so far has been highly variable in that many are performed in different countries and with different populations. For example, some include exclusively or primarily females, overweight/obese individuals, individuals belonging to a specific socioeconomic class, or mono-ethnic participants. Additionally, the age ranges vary from study to study. This makes the already limited research very difficult to analyze and generalize. Therefore, this secondary data analysis was performed to add to the current research on the topic of body image satisfaction and dietary behavior. The primary purpose of this research was to determine if there is a difference in body image satisfaction between children/adolescents in the United States who eat fruits and vegetables at least daily and those who do not. The secondary objective was to determine if there is a difference in the correlation of fruit and vegetable intake and body image satisfaction between girls and boys. The hypothesis was as follows: There is a difference in body image satisfaction between children/adolescents in the United States who consume more fruits and vegetables and those who consume less fruits and vegetables.

References

  1. Gallivan, H. (2014). Teens, social media and body image [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://www.macmh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/18_Gallivan_Teens-social-media-body-image-presentation-H-Gallivan-Spring-2014.pdf
  2. Gaylis, J. B., Levy, S. S., & Hong, M. Y. (2019). Relationships between body weight perception, body mass index, physical activity, and food choices in Southern California male and female adolescents. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), 264–275. doi: 10.1080/02673843.2019.1614465
  3. Barker, E. T., & Bornstein, M. H. (2010). Global self-esteem, appearance satisfaction, and self-reported dieting in early adolescence. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 30(2), 205–224. doi: 10.1177/0272431609332936
  4. Fredrickson, J., Kremer, P., Swinburn, B., Silva, A. D., & Mccabe, M. (2015). Weight perception in overweight adolescents: Associations with body change intentions, diet and physical activity. Journal of Health Psychology, 20(6), 774–784. doi: 10.1177/1359105315580223
  5. Mikkila, V., Lahti-Koski, M., Pietinen, P., Virtanen, S. M., Rimpela, M. (2003). Associates of obesity and weight dissatisfaction among Finnish adolescents. Public Health Nutr, 6(1), 49-56. doi: 10.1079/PHN2002352
  6. Strauss, R. S. (1999). Self-reported weight status and dieting in a cross- sectional sample of young adolescents: national health and nutrition examination survey III. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 153(7), 741-7. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.153.7.741
  7. Wang, Y., Liang, H., Chen, X. (2009). Measured body mass index, body weight perception, dissatisfaction and control practices in urban, low-income African American adolescents. BMC Public Health, 9(183). doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-183
  8. Vliet, J. S. V., Gustafsson, P. A., & Nelson, N. (2016). Feeling ‘too fat’ rather than being ‘too fat’ increases unhealthy eating habits among adolescents – even in boys. Food & Nutrition Research, 60(1), 29530. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v60.29530
  9. Chen, X., & Wang, Y. (2011). Is ideal body image related to obesity and lifestyle behaviors in African American adolescents? Child: Care, Health and Development, 38(2), 219–228. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01227.x
  10. Tirlea, L., Truby, H., & Haines, T. P. (2016). Pragmatic, randomized controlled trials of the Girls on the Go! Program to improve self-esteem in girls. American Journal of Health Promotion, 30(4), 231–241. doi: 10.1177/0890117116639572
  11. Franko, D. L., Cousineau, T. M., Rodgers, R. F., Roehrig, J. P., & Hoffman, J. A. (2013). Social-cognitive correlates of fruit and vegetable consumption in minority and non-minority youth. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45(2), 96–101. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.11.006
  12. Ribeiro-Silva, R. D. C., Fiaccone, R. L., Conceição-Machado, M. E. P. D., Ruiz, A. S., Barreto, M. L., & Santana, M. L. P. (2018). Body image dissatisfaction and dietary patterns according to nutritional status in adolescents. Jornal De Pediatria, 94(2), 155–161. doi: 10.1016/j.jped.2017.05.005

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Body Image Satisfaction and Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Children and Adolescents in the United States. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 9, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/body-image-satisfaction-and-fruit-and-vegetable-intake-in-children-and-adolescents-in-the-united-states/
“Body Image Satisfaction and Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Children and Adolescents in the United States.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/body-image-satisfaction-and-fruit-and-vegetable-intake-in-children-and-adolescents-in-the-united-states/
Body Image Satisfaction and Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Children and Adolescents in the United States. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/body-image-satisfaction-and-fruit-and-vegetable-intake-in-children-and-adolescents-in-the-united-states/> [Accessed 9 Aug. 2022].
Body Image Satisfaction and Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Children and Adolescents in the United States [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2022 Aug 9]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/body-image-satisfaction-and-fruit-and-vegetable-intake-in-children-and-adolescents-in-the-united-states/
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