Sex and Age-Related Differences in Perceived, Desired and Measured Percent Body Fat Among Adults
Article - Merrimack Access Only
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
The British Dietetic Association Ltd.
Background: Body image distortion/discrepancy leads to psychological stress, disordered eating and mental and physical disease. To begin to assess body image distortion/discrepancy, we compared perceived, desired and measured percentage body fat in male versus female and college-aged versus non-college aged individuals. In addition, we assessed the acute stress response to body composition measurement. Methods: Body fat percentage of 15 college aged (‘College Students’; CS) (mean = 19 years) and 16 non-college aged (‘Non-College Aged Students’; NCS) (mean = 39 years) males and females was assessed with the BodPod Body Composition Tracking System (Life Measurement Instruments, Con- cord, CA, USA). Participants indicated their perception of body fat and their desired body fat using a somatomorphic matrix. Salivary cortisol, heart rate and blood pressure were also measured. Data were analysed by analy- sis of variance and alpha was set at 0.05. Results: Mean (SD) percentage body fat of males [15.2% (6.1%] was signiﬁ- cantly lower than that of females [28.4% (6.4%)] (P < 0.0001). Both CS and NCS females perceived their body fat to be lower (5%) than measured body fat and desired their body fat to be lower (12%) than measured (P < 0.05). CS and NCS male participants demonstrated the opposite result; both CS and NCS male populations perceived their body fat to be higher (5%) than measured body fat and desired their body fat to be higher (4%) than measured (P < 0.05). No differences between any groups were observed in heart rate, blood pressure or cortisol response to body fat mea- surement. Conclusions: Sex-related but not age-related differences in perceived, desired and measured percentage body fat were observed.
Campisi J., Finn K.E., Bravo Y., Arnold J.,Benjamin M., Sukiennik M., Shakya S. &Fontaine D. (2015) Sex and age-related differencesin perceived, desired and measured percentagebody fat among adults. J Hum Nutr Diet. 28,486–492 doi:10.1111/jhn.12252