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Comparison between self-image and body mass index among children living in a slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2012




Body Image, Childhood Obesity, Body Mass Index, Primary Health Care


Objective. To verify the agreement/discrepancy between self-image and Body Mass Index (BMI), according to variables related to type of food and environment influence. Methods. Cross-sectional analysis of 195 prepubescent children (≥5 years), assisted at Primary Health Care. The World Health Organization z-score values were applied to classify the BMI. Self-image was collected using the silhouettes scale validated for children. The association of covariates with the outcome underestimation/overestimation of BMI in relation to self-image was estimated in a multinomial model. Results. The overweight children underestimated the BMI, as compared with the self-image, more often (58.6%) than the obese (22,0%) and the eutrophic (49,0%). This misrepresentation was associated with participation in the cash transfer program (OR=2.01 – 95%CI 1,04;3,90) and daily consumption of candies (OR=3.88 – 95%CI 1,05;14,39). Conclusion. Underestimation of BMI among overweight children should be accounted in primary health care practices.


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Health Sciences