What Do Black South African Adolescent Girls Think About Their Body Size?

Thandi R. Puoane, Jean M. Fourie, Lungiswa Tsolekile, Johanna H. Nel, Norman J. Temple

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In a cross-sectional study, body weight self-perceptions, preferences, and attitudes of 265 black South African adolescent females were determined. Many of these 10- to 19-year-old girls had unrealistic self-perceptions of their own weight. Overweight girls (43%) indicated having the self-image of someone with a small (&21.7 kg/m2) body mass index, and 66% indicated that their weight was "normal" based on the categories that were provided. Their opinions on weight preference were contradictory, with many expressing positive feelings about both being thin and being fat. Health education at an early/younger age is emphasized in light of the high obesity prevalence among adults along with long-term health dangers posed by obesity and underweight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan. 2013


  • adolescent
  • body image
  • female
  • obesity
  • underweight


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