An investigation of primary care in Lleida, with the participation of IRBLleida, detects unhealthy weight control behaviours among adolescents.
According to an article published in the scientific journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
A study led by the researcher Mercè Pollina, a nursing professional at the CAP of Bellpuig, has detected unhealthy weight control behaviours among adolescents, who in general terms present a distorted perception of self-image and a desire to be thinner. The article, entitled 'Self-Perception and Self-Acceptance Are Related to Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors in Catalan Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study', has been published in the scientific journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and has involved the participation of a team of professionals from different areas of primary care in Lleida, primary care in Anoia, the ICS Primary Care Search Support Unit in Lleida, the University Hospital of Vic, the IDIAP Jordi Gol Primary Care Research Foundation, the Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida (IRBLleida), the University of Lleida (UdL) and the Lleida Provincial Council.
A total of 2,496 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 from 45 schools throughout the Lleida and Pyrenees health region took part in the study. The research is based on the premise that the education received by adolescents on the acceptance of their own image is not very effective. As Mercè Pollina explains, "this fact can promote both dissatisfaction and unhealthy behaviour". Thus, an inaccurate self-perception of body weight has been linked to low self-esteem, depressive symptoms, a reduction in physical activity, a poorer quality diet, and even eating disorders, the most common among adolescents being anorexia, bulimia and other unspecified eating disorders, such as aphartaments.
As a result, the study indicates that adolescents perceive themselves to be thinner than they really are, with no significant differences between boys and girls. However, differences in body dissatisfaction were found, with females desiring to be thinner and males desiring bulkier bodies. The presence of unhealthy weight control behaviours has also been associated with the desire to be thinner and with a distorted perception of self-image.
The study also concludes that factors such as family, friends, partners, educational institutions and the media can have a strong interaction with adolescents and contribute to building their system of values and beliefs, which will be the basis of their self-confidence.
Text: Gabinet de Comunicació i Imatge/Gerència Territorial ICS Lleida, Alt Pirineu i Aran i Gestió de Serveis Sanitaris/Salut/Institut Català de la Salut / IRBLleida
The researcher, Mercè Pollina. Photo: Gabinet de Comunicació i Imatge/Gerència Territorial ICS Lleida, Alt Pirineu i Aran i Gestió de Serveis Sanitaris/Salut/Institut Català de la Salut /