Temporal Trends in Body Satisfaction and Weight Control Behaviors among U. S. High School Students from 1999 to 2007
Kirby, Andrea E.
Background: Dissatisfaction with the size, weight, and shape of oneâs body contributes to the risk of developing an eating disorder. Body dissatisfaction appears common among adolescents, but there is little information available on changes in prevalence over time. Purpose: We aim to study temporal changes in body dissatisfaction and eating disordered behavior between 1999 and 2007 and their relationship in high school aged youth. Methods: The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data sets were downloaded from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the years 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007. A pooled data set of variables common across the years was created (n= 64,270). Hypothesis: We hypothesize that the prevalence of body dissatisfaction and weight control behaviors will increase over time. We predict prevalence differences based on gender, ethnicity, and age. We also predict a correlation between body dissatisfaction and weight control behaviors. Data Analysis: The YRBS uses a multistage probability sampling design. We conducted univariate descriptive analysis with SPSS using case weights and multivariate hierarchical hypothesis testing with AM Statistical Software, which takes into account correlated errors within sampling units and utilizes design weights. Results: Consistency of body satisfaction and weight control behaviors was found over time. White adolescents and females seem at high risk of body dissatisfaction and eating disorder behavior. Body dissatisfaction and extreme weight control behaviors were positively related and fairly stable across age. Implications: Future research should study younger populations to improve understanding of etiology and effectiveness of body dissatisfaction and eating pathology preventions.
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