Body image and obesity among Australian adolescents from Indigenous and Anglo-European backgrounds: implications for health promotion and obesity prevention among Aboriginal youth

Journal article


Cinelli, Renata and O'Dea, Jennifer A.. (2009) Body image and obesity among Australian adolescents from Indigenous and Anglo-European backgrounds: implications for health promotion and obesity prevention among Aboriginal youth. Health Education Research.
AuthorsCinelli, Renata and O'Dea, Jennifer A.
Abstract

This study examines the relationship between body image and obesity, among 4367 indigenous and Anglo-European adolescents in Australia in 2006. It shows that indigenous adolescents, male and female, were more likely than their non-indigenous counterparts to desire and pursue weight gain. Indigenous males showed the greatest tendencies to gain weight and to perceive that they should build up their bodies. They also received the strongest parental advice to eat more, lose weight, do more exercise, do less exercise, and heed warnings that they were not eating enough. The percentage distribution of weight, from obese through to underweight, was not significantly different between indigenous and Anglo-European adolescents. Poor body image among obese adolescents was similar in all groups. This article concludes that indigenous Australian adolescents are more likely to desire weight gain and receive more parental and family advice about the desirability of gaining weight. Indigenous adolescents from around the world may have to grapple with conflicting cultural perceptions involving their own self-image, parental coercion and peer group pressure. Therefore, before planning and designing health education programs for indigenous young people, educators and health professionals should consider cultural attitudes lest they inadvertently create weight concerns, confuse or contradict healthy lifestyle messages.

Keywordsobesity adolescent exercise child health promotion parent peer group perception weight gain body image eating health education overweight and obesity prevention
Year2009
JournalHealth Education Research
PublisherFrance
Page range1059 - 1068
Research GroupSchool of Education
Place of publicationFrance
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/882y6/body-image-and-obesity-among-australian-adolescents-from-indigenous-and-anglo-european-backgrounds-implications-for-health-promotion-and-obesity-prevention-among-aboriginal-youth

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