Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health

ISSN: 1745-0179 ― Volume 15, 2019

Relationship Among Body Image, Anthropometric Parameters and Mental Health in Physical Education Students

Sandro Legey1, 2, Murilo Khede Lamego1, 2, Eduardo Lattari1, Carlos Campos1, 3, 11, Flávia Paes1, Federica Sancassiani4, Gioia Mura4, Mauro Giovanni Carta4, Nuno Barbosa F. Rocha3, Antônio Egídio Nardi1, Aldair José de Oliveira5, 11, Geraldo Maranhão Neto6, 11, Eric Murillo-Rodriguez7, 11, Oscar Arias-Carrión8, 11, Henning Budde9, 11, Sergio Machado1, 10, 11, *
1 Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2 Multidisciplinary Laboratory of Physical Activities, Sports and Physical Education (LAMAFEEF/UVA), Veiga de Almeida University, Cabo Frio, RJ, Brazil
3 School of Allied Health Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal
4 Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
5 School of Physical Activity, Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
6 Physical Activity Sciences Postgraduate Program - Salgado de Oliveira University (UNIVERSO), Niterói, Brazil
7 Laboratorio de Neurociencias Moleculares e Integrativas, Escuela de Medicina, División Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac Mayab. Mérida, Yucatán, México; Grupo de Investigación en Envejecimiento. División Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac Mayab. Mérida, Yucatán. México
8 Unidad de Trastornos del Movimiento y Sueño (TMS), Hospital General Dr. Manuel Gea González, Ciudad de México. México
9 Faculty of Human Sciences, Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; Sport Science, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland; Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania
10 Physical Activity Neuroscience Laboratory, Physical Activity Sciences Postgraduate Program - Salgado de Oliveira University (UNIVERSO), Niterói, Brazil
11 Intercontinental Neuroscience Research Group



The prevalence of body image dissatisfaction (BID) is currently high. Given that psychological well-being is associated with the body measurements imposed by esthetic standards, BID is an important risk factor for mental disorders.


Identify the prevalence of BID, and compare anthropometric and mental health parameters between individuals satisfied and dissatisfied with their body image.


A total of 140 university students completed the silhouette scale to screen for BID. Anthropometric measures, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and body fat percentage (BFP) were used. To investigate mental health, The State-Trait Anxiety Inventories (STAI-S and STAI-T), Profile of Mood States (POMS) scale and Quality of Life (QOL-36) questionnaire were used to investigate mental health. The Student’s t-test was applied to compare anthropometric and mental health parameters.


67.1% of university students exhibited BID. There was a significant difference (p = 0.041) in BF and WC (p = 0.048) between dissatisfied and satisfied individuals. With respect to mood states, significant differences were observed for anger (p = 0.014), depression (p = 0.011), hostility (p = 0.006), fatigue (p = 0.013), mental confusion (p = 0.021) and total mood disturbance (TMD) (p = 0.001). The mental aspect of QOL was significantly higher (p = 0.001) in satisfied university students compared to their dissatisfied counterparts.


BID was high and it seems to be influenced by anthropometric measures related to the amount and distribution of body fat. This dissatisfaction may have a negative effect on the quality of life and mood state of young adults.

Keywords: Body image dissatisfaction, Mental health, Anthropometric parameters, Anxiety, Quality of life, Mood state.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2016
Volume: 12
First Page: 177
Last Page: 187
Publisher Id: CPEMH-12-177
DOI: 10.2174/1745017901612010177

Article History:

Received Date: 18/06/2016
Revision Received Date: 09/09/2016
Acceptance Date: 08/11/2016
Electronic publication date: 27/12/2016
Collection year: 2016

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© Legey et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Tel/Fax: +552135187880; E-mail:


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