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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2031/5811

Title: Media influence on eating and dieting habits of adolescents and young adults in Hong Kong
Authors: Wong, Jennifer Chi Mei (王紫薇)
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Issue Date: 2009
Course: SS5790 Psychology Research Paper
Programme: PGD in Psychology
Instructor: Dr. Tse, John W. L.
Subjects: Body dissatisfaction
Weight-loss behavior
Body image in adolescence -- China -- Hong Kong
Eating disorders in adolescence -- China -- Hong Kong
Mass media and teenagers -- China -- Hong Kong
Abstract: Objectives: This study aimed to research into the effects of unsolicited media exposure (ME) to slimming and fitness advertisements on body dissatisfaction (BSQ); eating disorder symptomatology (EAT) and weight-loss behaviors (WLB) and to investigate the gender differences and the relations between body dissatisfaction and extreme weight-loss behaviors. Methods: 876 students (410 female, 46.80% M=17.21, SD=2.82; 466 male, 53.20%, M=16.70, SD=2.28) completed a set of questionnaire on ME, BSQ, EAT and WLB. Results: ME was moderately associated with BSQ and weakly correlated with EAT and WLB (r = .270, r = .166, r = .167 respectively, p<.01 in all cases). Female had significantly higher scores in all three variables. 4.91% of the participants reported an EAT score of ≥20, which is a strong indicator of potential eating disorder (Garner et al., 1982). 48.22% of the participants had engaged in at least one extreme weight-loss behavior. 41.33% of female and 23.51% of male participants over estimated their body shapes. The ideal BMI for female and male participants were 18.40 (n=349, SD=1.71) and 20.06 (n=397, SD=2.52) respectively. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the “thin-ideal” phenomenon was deep rooted in Hong Kong society. This study also revealed a high degree of body shape dissatisfaction and the high participation rate in extreme weight-loss behaviors, especially in female, which warranted attentions from educators and health professions and further researches in order to develop effective prevention programs.
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