BODY IMAGE PERCEPTIONS AND WEIGHT LOSS BEHAVIOR AMONG YOUNG ADULTS
The present study was conducted among undergraduate students in International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Kuantan with the aim to identify the body image perceptions, body shape concerns and weight loss behaviors. A total of 135 participants comprising of 50 male and 85 female undergraduate students were recruited since early April until mid of September 2016 from six Kulliyyah in IIUM Kuantan. The Contour Drawing Rating Scale, Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ-16) and Weight Loss Behavior Scales (WLBS) were used as assessment tools. Overall, (73.3%) of students had normal BMI status, (6.7%) are in the underweight category and the remaining are overweight or obese. More than 50% of the participants were somewhat concern about their body shape. Specifically, 27.4% reported mild concern followed by 16.3% with moderate concern and 11.1% were really concern with their current body shape. In addition, more than half of the participants (54.8%) were dissatisfied with their body images and had desired to be thinner. The most preferred weight loss behavior among the participants was exercise compared to other weight loss approaches. The result shows that concerns to dieting and weight have a significant association with BMI status. Meanwhile, body shape concerns are found to be significantly associated with concern to dieting and weight, as well as avoidance of fatty and sweet foods. However, there was no association between body shape concerns and exercise. Issues related to body image perceptions and weight loss behaviors among young adults need to be highlighted in order to avoid many misperceptions which can lead to unhealthy weight loss management. Thus in future, more tailored intervention program, strategies and further studies are needed to prevent and overcome body image related issues among young adults. This is important in order to build up a strong and healthy nation in the future.
Keywords: Body image perception; Body shape concern; Undergraduate students; Weight loss behavior;