Salud Mental

Nutritional variables associated with anxiety and body image self-perception in Mexican children according with the presence of overweight/obesity


Ericka Ileana Escalante-Izeta
Karime Haua-Navarro
Luz Irene Moreno-Landa
Ana Bertha Pérez-Lizaur


Introduction. Childhood obesity has been associated with the intake of energy-dense foods and sedentary lifestyle, and with mental health indicators such as anxiety and perception of body image. In Mexico it has not been studied the relationship between these variables in children.

Objective. To assess the body self-perception and risk of anxiety according to the presence of children with normal weight for their stature and age (BMI) and children with overweight/obese, controlling for dietary variables and health habits in children of school age.

Method. 259 boys and girls with normal BMI vs. 326 with overweight/obesity from three public schools in the State of Mexico were evaluated. Diet and lifestyle were associated with the presence of anxiety and body-image dissatisfaction. BMI was calculated from direct measures of weight and height. For anxiety assessment the CMAS-R questionnaire was used and test-SC for body image self-perception.

Results. 43% of school children showed cardiovascular risk and 7.7% metabolic syndrome risk. Children with normal weight have greater satisfaction with their body image and weight, compared to children with overweight or obesity (68.3% vs. 49.1%).

Discussion and conclusion. There were no differences in anxiety according to BM1. The self-perception of body image is less favorable in specific areas of the body, in children with overweight or obesity.

Body image perception, anxiety, child overweight, obesity


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