Sanchez-Villegas A, Madrigal H, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Kearney J, Gibney MJ, de Irala J, et al. Perception of body image as indicator of weight status in the European union. J Hum Nutr Diet 2001 Apr;14(2):93-102.
Objective To identify the factors associated with an adequate perception
of body image in relation to body weight.
Material and methods An observational, cross-sectional study was
conducted in a representative sample of the European Union (7155
men and 8077 women). Body Mass Index (BMI) was grouped into
four categories, perceived body image was assessed using the nine
silhouettes drawing scheme. A multivariable logistic regression
model for each sex was used to adjust for potentially confounding
Results Underweight men and women classi®ed themselves better
than other groups (92.9% of correct answers among men and 79.3%
among women). Overall, women classi®ed themselves better than
men (57.6% vs. 32.7%).
Discussion Perceived body image as a method of assessment for
body weight has different validity depending on sociodemographic or
attitudinal categories. Perceived body image as an estimate of the
nutritional status has a limited individualized application. Thus,
perhaps it could be applied as a proxy measure of adiposity among
slim males and among slim and overweight females, but not among
the other groups.