Psychosocial determinants of dieting in overweight adolescents
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Zakład Zdrowia Dzieci i Młodzieży, Instytut Matki i Dziecka, Warszawa
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2014;20(2):120-125
Treatment of obesity in adolescents is often ineffective, thereforer factors should be discovered which motivate young people to follow weight loss methods recommended by experts.

The objective of the study is to analyze the relationship between the use of diet by 13-year-olds with excess body weight and selected psychosocial factors.

Material and Methods:
The study was conducted in 2008 in a prospective cohort of 605 children. The 13-year-old adolescents received questionnaires by mail which contained questions concerning eating habits, dieting, family environment, social support, self-efficacy and quality of life. School nurses measured the height and weight of the students. BMI was calculated, and the group of young people with excess body weight (n = 116) was selected. Statistical analysis included chi-square test and one-way analysis of variation ANOVA.

Every fourth respondent with excess body weight applied a diet (27% girls, 20% boys, p <0.05), twice as often as adolescents with obesity than with overweight (32% vs. 16%, p <0.05), while 14% of girls and 36% of boys did not see the need for dieting. Young people who were aware that they should diet, but did not do so (50% of respondents), evaluated relationships in their families, rarely received positive reinforcement from their parents, had less social support, self-efficacy and the lowest quality of life in more negative terms compared to the remaining adolescents in the study.

In order to help obese adolescents to lose weight, their parents should provide them with emotional support and care to increase their sense of self-efficacy.

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