Body size dissatisfaction among young Chinese children in Hong Kong: a cross sectional study

Gemma Knowles, Fiona Chun Man Ling, G Neil Thomas, Peymane Adab, Alison M. McManus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the potential predictors of body size dissatisfaction in Chinese children. Design: The Child’s Body Image Scale was used to assess body size perception and dissatisfaction. BMI was calculated from objectively measured height and weight. Predictors of body size dissatisfaction were examined by logistic regression analysis. Setting: Hong Kong, China.Subjects: Six hundred and twenty children (53 % boys, aged 6·1–12·9 years) from a state-run primary school. Results: Female sex (adjusted OR (AOR)=1·91; 95 % CI 1·32, 2·76), age (AOR=2·62; 95 % CI 1·65, 4·16 for 8–10 years; AOR =2·16; 95 % CI 1·38, 3·38 for >10 years), overweight (AOR=6·23; 95 % CI 3·66, 10·60) and obesity (AOR=19·04; 95 % CI 5·64, 64·32) were positively associated with desire to be thinner. Size misperception was a strong predictor of body size dissatisfaction,irrespective of actual weight status (AOR=1·90; 95 % CI 1·02, 3·54 for overestimation; AOR=0·43; 95 % CI 0·27, 0·67 for underestimation). Conclusions: Body size dissatisfaction is prevalent among Chinese children as young as 6 years. Female sex, age, overweight, obesity and overestimation of size were associated with increased desire to be thinner. These findings emphasise the importance of preventing body image issues from an early age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1074
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date20 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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