Associations of self-esteem with body mass index and body image among Saudi college-age females
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To examine the association of self-esteem with the body mass index (BMI), perceived body image (BI), and desired BI of college-age Saudi females.
A cross-sectional study was conducted with 907 randomly selected females using a multistage stratified cluster sampling technique. Self-esteem and BI were assessed using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Stunkard Figure Rating Scale, respectively.
The prevalence of low self-esteem was only 6.1% among college females; however, this percentage was higher (9.8%) among overweight or obese participants. The total self-esteem scores showed significant negative correlations with actual BMI and perceived BI, but not with desired BI. Meanwhile, multivariate analyses revealed significant differences in total self-esteem scores according to obesity/overweight status and perceived BI group, but not desired BI group.
Despite the high prevalence of overweight and obesity in Saudi Arabia, few Saudi college females have low self-esteem. In addition, body weight, BMI, perceived BI, and the BMI corresponding to the perceived BI all significantly differed between females with low self-esteem and those with normal self-esteem.
Level of evidence
Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.
KeywordsBody image Body mass index College female Obesity Saudi Arabia Self-esteem
This study was funded by Students’ Research Funds provided by the Deanship for Scientific Research, King Saud University. We would like to thank the students who assisted with the data collection. We would also like to extend our appreciation to all the students who participated in this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the ethical committee (IRB) of the College of Medicine at King Saud University.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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