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the 5th to 6th Grade elementary school students
The study aimed to investigate the correlates of demography, body image, and eating behaviors among 5th to 6th Grade elementary school students. The study also aimed to predict the factors that affected eating behaviors of 5th to 6th Grade elementary school students. The study population consisted of aged 10-12 year olds who attended elementary schools at the Beitou district in Taipei City. The sample was generated using a stratified cluster random sampling method. Respondents were asked to complete a structure questionnaire. A total number of 464 valid questionnaires were collected. There were six main finds of the study. 1.The body shape of most respondents was “medium”, with the least being “small.” It was estimated that more than 30% of the respondents perceived themselves as being overweight and desired a thinner body shape. 2.The results indicated that girls were more dissatisfied with their body shape and cared more about their appearance. The lower the bodyweight the more positive the person’s self-perception of body image. The more negative the responses from parents and peers about body shape, the more negative the individual’s self-perception of their body image. Conversely, respondents who had a thinner body shape, more positive appreciation of respondents’ body shape were more likely to have a positive body image. Moreover, the support and advice from parents and peers about healthy eating behaviors was likely to improve body image. 3.The results indicated that girls had better eating behaviors than boys. Some factors improved eating behaviors such as self-perception of being overweight, more positive parents’ appreciation of respondents’ body shape, and greater support and advice from parents regarding healthy eating behaviors. 4.Respondents who had a better appreciation of their appearance had better eating behaviors. The more the respondents cared about their body shape, the better their eating behaviors and the more they ate low calorie foods. A positive body image improved eating habits but increased the frequency of high calorie food consumption. 5.The predictors of good eating behaviors were “the support and advice from parents”, “body image”, “the support and advice from peers”, “family social status”. The predictors of high calorie food consumption were “gender” and “self-perception of body shape”. Boys were more likely to eat high calorie food. Respondents who were perceived as overweight were less likely to consume high calorie food. The predictors of self control of eating behaviors were: “gender”, “family social status” and “the parent’s appreciation of respondents’ body weight”. Respondents who had poorer eating behaviors had parents with a more negative appreciation towards respondents’ body shape and came from a lower family social status. The predictors of low calorie food consumption were “gender” and “self-perception of body shape”. Girls and respondents who were perceived overweight were more likely to eat low calorie foods. 6.The result indicated that personal background and body image can predict eating behaviors which can explain 18% of the total variance. The main predictors were “gender”, “self-perception of body shape”, “family social status” and “the appreciation to respondents’ body weight from parents”. The following fields of people will have better eating behaviors: girls, people whose parents have a more positive appreciation of their body shape, people whose parents gave them more support and advice regarding health eating behaviors, people who came from a higher family social status and people who perceive themselves as overweight. Moreover, the main predict variable was gender.
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