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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 9, 2020

Perception of body image and its association with Body Mass Index (BMI) among college girls in Puducherry

Kumari Puja, Sathish Rajaa, Ramesh Ronur and Mahalakshmy Thulasingam


Introduction and Objectives

Adolescence is a transition stage when girls start developing positive and negative images regarding their body shape and appearance. It is a period where there is a constant urge among females to get a skinny and slim body shape. These distinguished unreal body shapes are influenced by the mass media and other common cultural idols. As it is important to know the factors affecting their perception, we aimed to determine the proportion of college girls who overestimate/underestimate their body image and also the influence of media, peers and parents in their perception of body image.


Total 510 students were selected between 18 and 21years. Standardized self -administered questionnaire such as the Figure Rating Scale (FRS) was used to determine the perception of body image among college girls. The FRS consists of schematic silhouette image of nine female from outmost slender to outmost overweight. Data regarding Sociodemographic, Anthropometry and effect of various factors influencing them were also collected.


The present study showed that almost 60.2% of the college girls were having correct perception of their body shape. 21.2% of the college girls overestimated their body shape and 18.6% of college girls underestimated their body shape. The perception was significantly influenced by media, parents and peers.


The study concluded that almost two in five girls have a misconception of their body shape and it is more influenced by media and family, so encouraging adequate support from their parents and following healthy eating behavior is the need of the hour.

Mahalakshmy Thulasingam, Associate professor,Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India,


Special thanks to the Directorate of School education Puducherry for giving permission to conduct the study. We would like to thanks to the school authorities, adolescents who participated in this study and urban health centre staff.

  1. Research funding: None.

  2. Author contributions: Puja Kumari, Sathish Rajaa, Ramesh Ronur, Mahalakshmy Thulasingam conceptualized the research question and study design. Puja Kumari collected the data. Puja Kumari and Sathish Rajaa were involved in data analysis and interpretation. Puja Kumari and Sathish Rajaa drafted the article, which was revised for its intellectual content by Mahalakshmi Thulasingam. All the authors have approved the final manuscript.

  3. Competing interests: None.

  4. Informed consent: Obtained from the study participants.

  5. Ethical approval: Obtained from the Institutional review board.


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Received: 2018-09-11
Accepted: 2018-10-04
Published Online: 2020-06-09

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