Longitudinal Trajectories of Perceived Body Weight: Adolescence to Early Adulthood

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Objective: To examine longitudinal trajectories of perceived weight from adolescence to early adulthood by gender. Methods: We analyzed 9 waves (1997-2005) of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (N = 8302) using Mplus. Results: Perceived overweight increased over time among girls and did not level off until 23 years of age. Blacks had a lower perceived weight for their actual weight and a slower rate of increase in perceived weight than did whites. Conclusion: Intervention programs designed to prevent or reduce obesity should evaluate weight perceptions for both adolescents and young adults prior to implementing each intervention.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.36.2.9

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA. seo@indiana.edu 2: Research Fellow, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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