An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.


Deana A. Hildebrand, PhD, RD
Jeremy Humphrey, MS
Lindsi Lemons, MPH


Actions adopted by adolescents to control their weight are motivated by their body weight perception. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between body weight perception and weight control behavior among Florida public high school students.


We analyzed data from the 2015 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey (N = 3798). We used chi-square test to detect group differences among survey respondents and multivariate logistic regression to assess the association between weight perception and weight control behavior.


Most survey respondents adopted healthy actions such as exercise and diet, 75.3% and 55.0%, respectively, and few used unhealthy ones as weight control means, such as fasting, use of diet products, and purging, 15.6%, 7.3%, and 6.5% respectively. Compared to respondents who considered themselves as having the right weight, there were higher odds of engaging in healthy activities only in respondents who considered themselves as being overweight while there were higher odds of engaging in unhealthy actions in respondents perceiving themselves as underweight and in those viewing themselves as overweight.


High school health education courses should include modules educating students on the importance of having accurate knowledge about body weight and adopting a healthy weight control behavior.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 9, Number 2, March 2022, pp. 815-827(13)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.