Title

Understanding Obesity and Self-Esteem: What Your Weight in Middle School says about You Now

First Presenter's Institution

Etinosa Oghogho

Second Presenter's Institution

Helen W. Bland, PhD

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Obesity is a growing health problem that affects children in the United States (CDC, 2015). Previous studies and research have shown a negative relationship between childhood obesity and lower self-esteem (Strauss 2000, Hesketh 2004). However, by improving knowledge on how obesity in children and adolescents develop and how it may affect self -esteem, researchers may be able to find out ways to tackle childhood obesity and related psychosocial factors (Spencer, 2003).

Obesity in children negatively impacts child's self-esteem potentially leading to loneliness, depression, anxiety, lower participation in class activities, and sadness (Mann et al., 2004, Wang and Veugelers, 2008, Spencer et al., 2002, and Strauss 2000). This study sought to ascertain an in-depth knowledge of these associations to improve current intervention strategies that will aid in reducing lower self-esteem due to obesity and obesity prevalence in children and adolescents. Additionally, this program explored college students perspectives of their weight in middle school and how it relates to their self-esteem. These results will be discussed.

Brief Program Description

Specific Objective: The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to determine the long-term impact of past middle-school weight and self-esteem.

Topic: Childhood Obesity and Self-Esteem

Target Audience: Teachers, School Counselors, Nurses, Prevention Specialists

Summary

This poster session will afford participants a didactic interchange on how their body weight and self-esteem in middle school impacts their lives today. Public health educators are constantly challenged to apply lessons learned from the past to create meaningful prevention messages for current generations of children and adolescents. Obesity is a major public health concern (Hurt, Kulisek, Buchanan, & McClave, 2010), with obesity rates in children and adolescents as one of the most global consequential Public Health problems of the 21st century (WHO, 2016). Obesity carries co-morbidities including propensity of low self-esteem (Franklin et al, 2006; Hesketh et al., 2004; Strauss 2000). Using the Theory of Planned Behavior, a triangulation mixed-methods study was implemented using college students to retrospectively report on weight perception of self and body self-esteem both at middle school age and currently (n=185). Sampling methodology employed was random, cluster sampling. Recorded middle-school BMI indicated 20% of participants as overweight and obese (n=37) while current BMI had 44.3% classified as overweight and obese. Contrary to the calculated BMI, 64.9% described themselves as normal weight in middle school (n=120) 65.9% described themselves as normal weight currently (n=122). Current BMI is significantly associated with middle school BMI and self-esteem (p=0.01). A thematic content analysis of replies to the qualitative inquiry of “Knowing what you know now, what would you say to your middle-school self?” indicated affirmation themes of “love the skin you’re in” and admonition themes of “stay active” and “portion control”. Implications of study findings will be explored.

Evidence

Overweight and obesity across all age groups is a major Public Health issue of concern (WHO, 2016). This program will provide beneficial information for regulatory bodies, academic societies, governmental establishments and institutions, stakeholders such as funding agencies and public health professionals that brings aid to the overweight and obesity epidemic and the need for organizations that can help children and adolescents struggling with low self-esteem due to their body mass.

Outcomes from this analysis will also spur the call for increased funding for the decrease of the prevalence of obesity and self-esteem and further research. Additionally, this research has the likely capacity to expand and improve established prevention intervention strategies that can decrease the prevalence of obesity and overweight among children and even among other populations as well as the negative consequences and effects it may have on their self-esteem.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Etinosa Oghogho is a Community Health Behavior and Education Master's of Public Health student in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University. She holds her Bachelor science degree in Microbiology. She is currently a Graduate Assistant at Georgia Southern University. She is working on a manuscript on childhood obesity and self-esteem for a publication and has published a journal article on Genetics. She plans to get her Doctoral degree in Global Health.

Dr Helen Bland is a Professor in the Department of Community Health Behavior and Education in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University. She holds two degrees in Food and Nutrition Science and specializes in obesity prevention and promotion of physical activity. Dr. Bland has published 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and has given over 100 international and national presentations.

Keyword Descriptors

Childhood obesity, Self-Esteem, Physical activity, College students

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

Understanding Obesity and Self-Esteem: What Your Weight in Middle School says about You Now

Harborside East & West

Specific Objective: The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to determine the long-term impact of past middle-school weight and self-esteem.

Topic: Childhood Obesity and Self-Esteem

Target Audience: Teachers, School Counselors, Nurses, Prevention Specialists