Association of Visceral Fat Obesity with Body Image Dissatisfaction among Women

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Food Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran


Introduction: The prevalence of body image dissatisfaction has significantly increased in the last years, and most previous studies have focused on the body mass index. The present study aimed to examine the association between body image and body composition among women. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 384 women attending a nutrition clinic in Ardabil during 2019. Data were collected using the multidimensional body self-relations questionnaire, anthropometric measurement, and body composition analysis. The data were analyzed in SPSS software (version 21.0) through a two-tailed test. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Correlation analysis indicated a significant positive association of body composition with the subjective weight and overweight preoccupation subscales. The highest association of subjective weight subscale was found with body fat percentage followed by visceral fat level and trunk fat mass. Moreover, the highest association of overweight preoccupation subscale was with body fat percentage and visceral fat level followed by visceral fat area and trunk fat mass. The correlation between body composition components and the subjective weight subscale was stronger than that between body composition components and the overweight preoccupation subscale. Conclusion: Body image dissatisfaction was associated with body fat percentage, trunk fat mass, and visceral fat obesity among women attending a nutrition clinic. These results indicate the need for interventions designed to improve body composition, and consequently, body image dissatisfaction.


  1. Weinberger NA, Kersting A, Riedel-Heller SG, Luck-Sikorski C. Body dissatisfaction in individuals with obesity compared to normal-weight individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Facts. 2016;9(6):424-41.
  2. Pole M, Crowther JH, Schell J. Body dissatisfaction in married women: The role of spousal influence and marital communication patterns. Body image. 2004;1(3):267-78.
  3. Pinho LD, Brito MF, Silva RR, Messias RB, Barbosa DA, Caldeira AP. Perception of body image and nutritional status in adolescents of public schools. Rev Bras Enferm. 2019;72:229-35.
  4. Brun I, Russell-Mayhew S, Mudry T. Last Word: Ending the intergenerational transmission of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating: a call to investigate the mother-daughter relationship. Eat Disord. 2020:1-8.
  5. Flores-Cornejo F, Kamego-Tome M, Zapata-Pachas MA, Alvarado GF. Association between body image dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms in adolescents. Braz J Psychiatry. 2017;39(4):316-22.
  6. Regis JM, Ramos-Cerqueira AT, Lima MC, Torres AR. Social anxiety symptoms and body image dissatisfaction in medical students: prevalence and correlates. J Bras Psiquiatr. 2018;67(2):65-73.
  7. Cassone S, Lewis V, Crisp DA. Enhancing positive body image: An evaluation of a cognitive behavioral therapy intervention and an exploration of the role of body shame. Eat Disord. 2016;24(5):469-74.
  8. Sabeti F, Gorjian Z. The relationship between the satisfaction of body image and self-esteem among obese adolescents in Abadan, Iran. Iran J Diabetes Obes. 2013;5(3):126-31.
  9. Sarwer DB, Polonsky HM. Body image and body contouring procedures. Aesthet Surg J. 2016;36(9):1039-47.
  10. Leal GV, Philippi ST, Alvarenga MD. Unhealthy weight control behaviors, disordered eating, and body image dissatisfaction in adolescents from São Paulo, Brazil. Braz J Psychiatry. 2020;42(3):264-70
  11. Matias TS, Lopes MV, de Mello GT, Silva KS. Clustering of obesogenic behaviors and association with body image among Brazilian adolescents in the national school-based health survey (PeNSE 2015). Prev Med Rep. 2019;16:101000.
  12. Bahreynian M, Qorbani M, Motlagh ME, Heshmat R, Ardalan G, Kelishadi R. Association of perceived weight status versus body mass index on adherence to weight-modifying plan among Iranian children and adolescents: The CASPIAN-IV study. Indian Pediatr. 2015;52(10):857-63.
  13. Tariq M, Ijaz T. Development of Body Dissatisfaction Scale for university students. Pak J Psychol Res. 2015;30(2).
  14. Adetunji OJ, Olusola AI. Body image: A global health concerns among girls and women in developing countries. European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science. 2018.
  15. Fiske L, Fallon EA, Blissmer B, Redding CA. Prevalence of body dissatisfaction among United States adults: Review and recommendations for future research. Eat Behav. 2014;15(3):357-65.
  16. Shahyad S, Pakdaman S, Shokri O. Prediction of body image dissatisfaction from self-esteem, thin-ideal Internalization and appearance-related social comparison. Int J Travel Med Glob Health. 2015;3:65–9.
  17. Mack KA, Anderson L, Galuska D, et al. Health and sociodemographic factors associated with body weight and weight objectives for women: 2000 behavioral risk factor surveillance system. J Womens Health. 2004;13(9):1019-32.
  18. Nikniaz Z, Mahdavi R, Amiri S, Ostadrahimi A, Nikniaz L. Factors associated with body image dissatisfaction and distortion among Iranian women. Eat Behav. 2016;22:5-9.
  19. Legey S, Lamego MK, Lattari E, Campos C, Paes F, Sancassiani F et al. Relationship among body image, anthropometric parameters and mental health in physical education students. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health: CP & EMH. 2016;12:177.
  20. Pop CL. Association between Body Mass Index and Self Body Image Perception. Iran J Public Health. 2017;46(12):1744-5.
  21. Chen G, He J, Zhang B, Fan X. Body weight and body dissatisfaction among Chinese adolescents: Mediating and moderating roles of weight-related teasing. Curr Psychol. 2019:1-9.
  22. Pelegrini A, Coqueiro RD, Beck CC, Ghedin KD, Lopes AD, Petroski EL. Dissatisfaction with body image among adolescent students: association with socio-demographic factors and nutritional status. Cien Saude Colet. 2014;19:1201-8.
  23. Pelegrini A, Sacomori C, Santos MC, Sperandio FF, Cardoso FL. Body image perception in women: prevalence and association with anthropometric indicators. Rev Bras Cineantropom Desempenho Hum. 2014;16(1):58-65.
  24. Jaffrin MY. Body composition determination by bioimpedance: an update. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009;12(5):482-6.
  25. Rahati A. Evolutionary study of body image and its relationship with self-esteem based on comparison between adolescent, middle age and old people. Tehran: Shahed University. 2004;34.
  26. Garrusi B, Baneshi MR. Body dissatisfaction among Iranian youth and adults. Cad Saude Publica. 2017;33:e00024516.
  27. Toselli S, Spiga F. Sport practice, physical structure, and body image among university students. J Eat Disord. 2017;5(1):31.
  28. Hrabosky JI, Cash TF, Veale D, Neziroglu F, Soll EA, Garner DM, et al. Multidimensional body image comparisons among patients with eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and clinical controls: a multisite study. Body Image. 2009;6(3):155-63.
  29. Pasch KE, Klein EG, Laska MN, Velazquez CE, Moe SG, Lytle LA. Weight misperception and health risk behaviors among early adolescents. Am J Health Behav. 2011;35(6):797-806.
  30. Rodgers RF, McLean SA, Marques M, Dunstan CJ, Paxton SJ. Trajectories of body dissatisfaction and dietary restriction in early adolescent girls: A latent class growth analysis. J Youth Adolesc. 2016;45(8):1664-77.
  31.  Ribeiro-Silva RD, Fiaccone RL, Conceição-Machado ME, Ruiz AS, Barreto ML, Santana ML. Body image dissatisfaction and dietary patterns according to nutritional status in adolescents.  J Pediatr (Rio J). 2018;94(2):155-61.
  32. Caleyachetty R, Kengne AP, Muennig P, Rutter H, Echouffo-Tcheugui JB. Misperception of body weight among overweight or obese adults in Mauritius. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2016;10(2):216-9.
  33. Wilson OW, Jones H, Mama SK, Guthrie H, Papalia Z, Duffey M, et al. Female college student weight perception discordance. J Am Coll Health . 2019:1-7.
  34. Deschamps V, Salanave B, Chan-Chee C, Vernay M, Castetbon K. Body weight perception and related preoccupations in a large national sample of adolescents. Pediatric Obes. 2015;10(1):15-22.
  35. Anderson LA, Eyler AA, Galuska DA, Brown DR, Brownson RC. Relationship of satisfaction with body size and trying to lose weight in a national survey of overweight and obese women aged 40 and older, United States. Prev Med. 2002;35(4):390-6.
  36. Fermino RC, Pezzini MR, Reis RS. Reasons for physical activity practice and body image among health clubs users. Rev Bras Med Esporte. 2010;16(1):18-23.
  37. Černelič-Bizjak M, Jenko-Pražnikar Z. Impact of negative cognitions about body image on inflammatory status in relation to health. Psychol Health. 2014;29(3):264-78.
  38. Ajmal MR, Yaccha M, Malik MA, Rabbani MU, Ahmad I, Isalm N, et al. Prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in patients of cardiovascular diseases and its association with hs-CRP and TNF-α. Indian Heart J. 2014;66(6):574-9.
  39. Mathieu P, Lemieux I, Després JP. Obesity, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2010;87(4):407-16.
  40. Djalalinia S, Saeedi Moghaddam S, Sheidaei A, Rezaei N, Naghibi Iravani SS, Modirian M, et al. Patterns of Obesity and Overweight in the Iranian Population: Findings of STEPs 2016. Front Endocrinol. 2020;11:42.