Psychosocial Correlates in the Context of Body Mass Index and Overweight



The potentially serious physical and psychosocial consequences of overweight and obesity have made this condition one of the great contemporary public health issues. However, the earliest and most widespread consequences of adolescent obesity are of psychosocial nature. There is evidence that overweight and obesity in adolescence are associated with significantly lower levels of emotional well-being measures, body image dissatisfaction and social isolation. Compared with normal weight peers, overweight and obese adolescents express concerns associated with weight more frequently, have a poorer perception of their own health, rate their life satisfaction as lower and are more involved in health compromising behaviours, such as chronic dieting and potentially harmful alcohol consumption. Growing evidence suggests that adolescents with chronic conditions other than obesity, are likely to engage in risky behaviours to at least similar, if not higher rates as their healthy peers, and alcohol has been recognized as the substance most frequently used by young people with a variety of chronic conditions, with little variation by diagnosis. Obesity seems to be similar to other chronic conditions of adolescence, especially in what concerns alcohol use and abuse. Overweight and obese adolescents should, where possible, be reached with appropriate interventions addressing the broad spectrum of their psychological needs, enhancing their skill development for behavioural change, and providing support for dealing with potentially harmful behaviours.


Life Satisfaction Eating Disorder Body Dissatisfaction Obese Adolescent Poor Body Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Body Mass Index


European Association for the Study of Obesity


Health Behaviour in School Aged Children


International Obesity Task Force


Unhealthy weight control Behaviours


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsHospital de Santa MariaLisboaPortugal

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