Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Rebecca Charlton

Second Advisor

Heidi Wengreen

Third Advisor

Mateja R. Savoie-Roskos

Abstract

This article reviews the rate of body dissatisfaction and weight bias among young children. It was initially hypothesized that body-image begins much earlier than adolescence, where most interventions take place. Out of fifty articles read on the subject, forty-five peer reviewed articles were included in this review. The findings of these articles were synthesized for a comprehensive review on the topic. Results suggested that weight bias begins around three years of age, while body dissatisfaction begins around age five for girls, and seven for boys. Rates of body dissatisfaction among children were similar to the rate among adolescents, averaging out to be 50%. Results were also similar between males and females, concluding that body dissatisfaction is similar regardless of gender. However, protective factors, such as race and ethnicity, and the absence of weight bias and misclassification in parents, often decreased the rates of body dissatisfaction. Interventions have been implemented as a means to increase body satisfaction in children and adolescents, but none have been successful. Most interventions provided an increase in knowledge for participants, but changes in behavior were not seen long term. The conclusions reached in this study include an optimal age for intervention, between three and seven, and provide information on where this dissatisfaction could stem from.

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