Gender Differences in Body Image Misperception According to Body Mass Index, Physical Activity, and Health Concern among Korean University Students

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Ju Yong Bae
Woo-Suk Chung
Ki Ok Shin



Background and Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the gender differences in body image misperception, analyzed according to the body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and health concern among Korean university students.

Material and Methods: Three-hundred-and-thirty-nine students participated. Body image misperception was examined through data on subjective body image perception and differences in the measured BMI.

Results: A total of 45.9% of the male students perceived their body shape measurements to be lower and 18.9% of the female students perceived them to be higher than the actual values. Body image misperception, according to the BMI, significant differences by gender were observed in the underweight (p<.045), standard weight (p<.000), and overweight groups (p<.000). For body image misperception, according to the amount of physical activity, significant differences by gender were observed in the inactivity (p<.001), minimum activity (p<.000), and health-enhancing activity groups (p<.000); significant differences by gender were also observed in the low health concern (p<.000) and high health concern groups (p<.000). Conclusion: The prevalence of body image misperception was high, and the degree of misperception varies by gender. Therefore, educational efforts to reduce instances of body image misperception are needed for healthy weight management, and these efforts should take into consideration the gender differences.

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