Self-perception of Body Weight and Physical Activity with its Relationship to Actual Body Weight among Students in a Medical College: An Analytical Cross-sectional Study CC01-CC04
Dr. M Anbarasi,
Professor, Department of Physiology, Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Medical College and
Hospital, Chennai-Trichy Highway 45, Siruvachur, Perambalur, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Obesity and sedentary life style are becoming more prevalent among the student generation. Every human being has a very good insight about the outlook. But many are not able to maintain what they perceive. During this survey, the students get a vivid picture of their real body weight and their perception of their body structure.
Aim: To compare the self-perceived body weight with actual body weight among medical students and to analyse the perceptions and practice of medical studentâ€™s related to physical activity.
Materials and Methods: This analytical cross-sectional study included 400 medical students. Self-perceived body image was assessed using Silhouette matching technique. Students represented the figure how they currently look (Feel) and how they actually wanted to look (Ideal). The Feel minus Ideal Discrepancy (FID) score was noted. Actual body weight and height were measured. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated using the Quetelet formula- weight(Kg)/height(metres)2 . Perceptions and practice of physical activity were assessed using Exercise Benefits/Barrier Scale (EBBS). Comparison of perceived and actual body weight was done by Studentâ€™s Independent t-test and Pearson correlation test using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0.
Results: The actual BMI and perceived BMI showed strong positive correlation (r= 0.726; p=0.0001). Males had high exercise benefit scores (92) when compared with females (86) (p=0.0002). The students had high total score (benefit score plus barrier score); males had 127 and females had 124 (p=0.003) and high benefit/barrier ratio.
Conclusion: Actual BMI and self-perceived BMI were well correlated indicating participantâ€™s awareness of their body image. Male participants were more actively involved in physical activity and more concerned about maintaining their body weight. All students had higher benefit scores which is a favourable sign towards a healthy and active physical life.