Christie Loke Sin Mun : 0000-0002-4978-6636
Roslee Rajikan : 0000-0003-0572-2654
Hanis Mastura Yahya : 0000-0002-7267-1941
Background: Body image dissatisfaction may lead to the practice of imbalanced diet to achieve the desired body weight. This study aimed to determine the association between body image perception and food intake among undergraduate students.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on the data of 155 students from three faculties located at National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Assessments included demographic data, body mass index, Contour Drawing Rating Scale, and 3-day food records.
Results: The majority of the subjects were categorized as normal weight (64.5%), and the remaining were classified as underweight (26.5%), overweight (7.7%), and obese (1.3%). Body image dissatisfaction was observed in 80.6% of men and 87.9% of women. The majority of male subjects desired a large body, and the female subjects wanted a thin body. Body image dissatisfaction differed among the body mass index categories for both genders (p < 0.05). The mean intake of energy, potassium, calcium, thiamine, folate, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin K, magnesium, and copper intake among the participants was below the recommended amount. Body image dissatisfaction was negatively correlated with calorie intake (r = −0.164, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: The perception of having a large body size is associated with low-calorie intake among university students. Nutrition education programs are warranted to ensure healthy and balanced eating practices in this population.
- National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS). Non-communicable diseases, healthcare demand and health literacy. Selangor: National Health and Morbidity Survey, 2019.
- Simmonds M, Llewellyn A, Owen CG, Woolacott N. Predicting adult obesity from childhood obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2016;17:95–107.
- De Lorenzo A, Gratteri S, Gualtieri P, Cammarano A, Bertucci P, Di Renzo L. Why primary obesity is a disease?. J Transl Med. 2019;17:169.
- Fruh SM. Obesity: Risk factors, complications, and strategies for sustainable long-term weight management. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2017;29:S3–14.
- Santos LR, Brito EC, Lira Neto JC, Alves LE, Alves LR, Freitas RW. Analysis of sedentary lifestyle among college students. Rev Enferm UERJ. 2014;22:416–21.
- Ohlsson C, Gidestrand E, Bellman J, Larsson C, Palsdottir V, Hagg D, et al. Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects - A proof of concept randomized clinical trial. EClinicalMedicine. 2020;22:100338.
- Khabaz MN, Bakarman MA, Baig M, Ghabrah TM, Gari MA, Butt NS, et al. Dietary habits, lifestyle pattern and obesity among young Saudi university students. J Pak Med Assoc. 2017;67:1541–6.
- Wan Mohamed Radzi CWJ, Salarzadeh Jenatabadi H, Alanzi ARA, Mokhtar MI, Mamat MZ, Abdullah NA. Analysis of obesity among Malaysian university students: A combination study with the application of Bayesian structural equation modelling and Pearson correlation. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16:492.
- Smethers AD, Rolls BJ. Dietary management of obesity: Cornerstones of healthy eating patterns. Med Clin North Am. 2018;102:107–24.
- Sogari G, Velez-Argumedo C, Gomez MI, Mora C. College students and eating habits: a study using an ecological model for healthy behavior. Nutrients. 2018;10:1823–38.
- Asmare B, Taddele M, Berihun S, Wagnew F. Nutritional status and correlation with academic performance among primary school children, Northwest Ethiopia. BMC Res Notes. 2018;11:805–10.
- Dias SS, Lages M, Frontini R, Luís L, Dixe MDA, Sousa P. Association between food choices motivators and physical activity in body image (dis)satisfaction in Portuguese adolescents. Front Public Health. 2021;9:651228.
- Ganapathy SS, Tan L, Sooryanarayana R, Hashim MH, Saminathan TA, Ahmad FH, et al. Body weight, body weight perception, and bullying among adolescents in Malaysia. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2019;31:38S–47S.
- Macneill LP, Best LA, Davis LL. The role of personality in body image dissatisfaction and disordered eating: discrepancies between men and women. J Eat Disord. 2017;5:44–52.
- Frank R, Claumann G, Felden É, Silva D, Pelegrini A. Body weight perception and body weight control behaviors in adolescents. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2018;94:40–7.
- You S, Shin K. Body esteem among Korean adolescent boys and girls. Sustainability. 2019;11:2051–64.
- Shahi V, Kohli N. Body image attitudes and perception among college students. Int J Soc Sci. 2019;7:1263–7.
- Hulley SB, Cummings SR, Browner WS, Grady D, Newman TB. Designing clinical research: An epidemiologic approach. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013.
- Markey C, Markey P. Relations between body image and dieting behaviors: An examination of gender differences. Sex Roles. 2005;53:519–30.
- World Health Organization. Physical status: The use and interpretation of anthropometry. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2004.
- National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition. Recommended nutrient intakes for Malaysia. A report of the technical working group on nutritional guidelines. Putrajaya: Ministry of Health Malaysia, 2017.
- Thompson MA, Gray JJ. Development and validation of a new body-image assessment scale. J Pers Assess. 1995;64:258–69.
- Chin YS, Taib MNM, Shariff ZM, Khor GL. Development of multi-dimensional body image scale for Malaysian female adolescents. Nutr Res Pract. 2008;2:85–92.
- Kutty NAM, Ru TY, Qi Chiang VH, Zhi WY. Association of dietary habits and body mass index among university students in Malaysia: A cross-sectional study. J Nurs Health Sci. 2015;4:78–85.
- Peltzer K, Pengpid S. The association of dietary behaviors and physical activity levels with general and central obesity among ASEAN university students. AIMS Public Health. 2017;4:301–13.
- Zarei M, Mohd Taib MN, Zarei F, Abu Saad H. Factors associated with body weight status of Iranian postgraduate students in University of Putra Malaysia. Nurs Midwifery Stud. 2013;2:97–102.
- Hodge JM, Shah R, McCullough ML, Gapstur SM, Patel AV. Validation of self-reported height and weight in a large, nationwide cohort of U.S. adults. PLoS One. 2020;15:e0231229.
- Latiff AA, Muhamad J, Rahman RA. Body image dissatisfaction and its determinants among young primary-school adolescents. J Taibah Univ Med Sci. 2017;13:34–41.
- Weinberger NA, Kersting A, Riedel-Heller SG, Luck-Sikorski C. Body dissatisfaction in individuals with obesity compared to normal-weight individuals: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Facts. 2016;9:424–41.
- Grogan S. Body image: Understanding body dissatisfaction in men, women and children. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge; 2017.
- Kamaria K, Vikram M, Ayiesah R. Body image perception, body shape concern and body shape dissatisfaction among undergraduates students. Jurnal Teknologi. 2016; 78:37–42.
- Mase T, Ohara K, Miyawaki C, Kouda K, Nakamura H. Influences of peers’ and family members’ body shapes on perception of body image and desire for thinness in Japanese female students Int J Womens Health. 2015;7:625–33.
- Tahereh M, Rosita J, Hazizi AS. Lifestyle and psychological factors associated with body weight status among university students in Malaysia. Pak J Nutr. 2015;14:18–28.
- Abubakar HA, Shahril MR, Wafa SW. Weight status, dietary intake and eating behaviour of Nigerian postgraduate students in UniSZA, Malaysia. Malaysian J Public Health Med. 2016;16:45–51.
- Nasreddine L, Chamieh MC, Ayoub J, Hwalla N, Sibai AM, Naja F. Sex disparities in dietary intake across the lifespan: The case of Lebanon. Nutr J. 2020;19:24.
- Kourouniotis S, Keast RSJ, Riddell LJ, Lacy K, Thorpe MG, Cicerale S. The importance of taste on dietary choice, behaviour and intake in a group of young adults. Appetite. 2016; 103:1–7.
- Gonçalves C, Abreu S, Padrão P, Pinho O, Graça P, Breda J, et al. Sodium and potassium urinary excretion and dietary intake: A cross-sectional analysis in adolescents. Food Nutr Res. 2016;60:29442.
- Yap SY, Aziz Y, Asma A, Yusof HM. Ethnic variation in osteoporosis risk factors: Dietary calcium, vitamin D intake and body mass index (BMI). Food Res. 2019;3:741–8.
- Samaniego-Vaesken M, Partearroyo T, Olza J, Aranceta-Bartrina J, Gil Á, González-Gross M, et al. Iron intake and dietary sources in the Spanish population: findings from the ANIBES study. Nutrients. 2017;9:203–16.
- Koo HC, Hadirah Z, Airina A, Amrina NAR, Faziela N. Effect of nutrient intakes on anthropometric profiles among university students from a selected private University in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Afr Health Sci. 2019;19:2243–51.
- Alipour B, Farhangi MA, Dehghan P, Alipour M. Body image perception and its association with body mass index and nutrient intakes among female college students aged 18–35 years from Tabriz, Iran. Eat Weight Disord. 2015;20:465–71.
- Ribeiro-Silva RDC, Fiaccone RL, Conceição-Machado MEPD, Ruiz AS, Barreto ML, Santana MLP. Body image dissatisfaction and dietary patterns according to nutritional status in adolescents. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2018;94:155–61.
- Baceviciene M, Jankauskiene R, Balciuniene V. The role of body image, disordered eating and lifestyle on the quality of life in Lithuanian university students. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17:1593.
Loke Sin Mun C, Rajikan R, Yahya H. Body Image Perception and Its Association with Food Intake among Undergraduate Students in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Makara J Health Res. 2022;26.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.