Objective: To examine the associations between body image (actual and self-perceived weight status; feelings about appearance) and health outcomes (overall health, life satisfaction, and mental health) and between body image and experiences of being bullied. Methods: Participants included 8,303 children from 7th to 10th grade in the Health Behavior of School-Aged Children (HBSC) 2009-2010 data set, a large-scale sample in the United States. Several multiple linear regressions (with health outcomes as dependent variables) and multivariate logistic regressions (with being bullied or not as dependent variable) were conducted to investigate the associations between each dependent variable and the following independent variables: relationship with parents, frustration with appearance, and actual and self-perceived weight status. Results: Self-perceived underweight, self-perceived overweight (OW), and frustration with appearance were positively associated with being bullied. Frustration with appearance was a risk factor, while good relationship with parents was a protective factor, especially for psychological health outcomes. Self-perceived OW had a stronger association with the experience of being bullied than actual OW. The relationship between actual OW and being bullied might be attenuated when self-perceived OW is simultaneously considered. Conclusions: Body image may be an important factor in the association between weight status and the experience of being bullied.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics