Body size perception in Thai school-aged children

Main Article Content

Chansuda Bongsebandhu-phubhakdi
Orapa Suteerojntrakool
Therdpong Tempark


Background : Body size perception is the basic of body image that usually be developed during early childhood. Overestimation of children and/or their parents may lead further negative body image, whereas underestimation may cause overlooked obesity problems.

Objectives : To investigate the accuracy of body size perception among Thai school-aged children and the correlation between children’s and their parents’ estimation.

Methods : In 2015, a cross-sectional study was conducted in a primary school in central Bangkok. Anthropometric indices were measured. Perceived body sizes of children was assessed by the children and their parents using visual image scale (Children Body Scale: CBIS).

Results : In all, 1, 217 children (625 boys, 592 girls) were recruited in the study. Only 27% of the children and 30% of their parents had accurate body size estimation. Both children and parents in underweight and mild underweight group tended to overestimate their body size, whereas those in normal, overweight, mild obesity and obesity group tended to underestimate their body size. Data showed the significant and positive correlation between participating children and their parents. (r = 0.753, P <0.001).

Conclusion : This is the first study of school-aged children’s body size perception in Thailand. We demonstrate that only nearly one-third of children and their parents can estimate children’s body size accurately. Our findings
also suggest that both over- and underestimation are common in varied weight status, which has implications for health education among school-aged children and their parents.

Article Details

Original article