Original Article

The Association between BMI and Body Weight Perception among Children in Turkey: A Cross-Sectional Study


Background: There is a complex relationship between body mass index (BMI) and body weight perception. The present study aimed to determine the relationship between BMI and body weight perception among middle-aged children.

Methods: This study was cross-sectional, and conducted among 333 children (9-11 yr) from the largest public school in Istanbul, Turkey between Oct 2019 and Jan 2020. BMI was calculated as weight divided by height squared (kg/m2). Body weight perception was determined using a photograph figure rating scale. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 24.0.

Results: Overall, 325 children (mean age 10.01 ± 0.99 yr) completed the study. According to the BMI classification, 8.6% of children were severely underweight, 4.9% underweight, 68.0% normal weight, 8.3% overweight, and 10.2% obese. However, 38.8% of the children perceived themselves as overweight, 21.2% as underweight, 20.3% as normal, 10.3% as overweight, and 9.4% as obese. 59.1% of children underestimated their current body weight. On the other hand, 14.2% of children overestimated their current body weight. There were statistical differences between body weight perception and BMI (P<0.001).

Conclusion: There was a discrepancy between body weight perception and BMI among middle-aged children. More than half of the children tend to underestimate their actual body weight. Therefore, evaluating the nutritional status of children and learning which body type children perceive can guide the preparation of individual nutrition programs.

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IssueVol 52 No 11 (2023) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v52i11.14037
Body weight perception Body size Children BMI

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How to Cite
Pulat Demir H, Bayram HM. The Association between BMI and Body Weight Perception among Children in Turkey: A Cross-Sectional Study. Iran J Public Health. 2023;52(11):2372-2379.