The present study examined ethnic differences in actual-ideal body weight discrepancy and its correlates among a sample of Malaysian adult women. A total of 459 Malays, 307 Chinese and 150 Indians from Kuala Lumpur completed measures of their actual-ideal body weight discrepancy, sociocultural messages about appearance, self-reported body mass index (BMI) and demographics. Results showed that Chinese women had smaller actual-ideal body weight discrepancy scores than both Malay and Indian women, although the effect size of this difference was small (ηp2=.01). There were also significant ethnic differences in the internalisation of media messages about appearance, although effect sizes were likewise small. Further analyses revealed that sociocultural messages about appearance and self-reported BMI explained between 28% and 47% of the variance in actual-ideal body weight discrepancy for the three ethnic groups, respectively. These results are discussed in relation to the extant literature on body image in the Malaysian context.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Culture and Mental Health
|Early online date
|31 Jan 2012
|Published - 1 Aug 2013