Original Research

Body satisfaction of female staff members working in primary schools in Mangaung, Bloemfontein

Ntsoaki L. Meko, Mariette Nel
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 26 | a1555 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v26i0.1555 | © 2021 Ntsoaki L. Meko, Mariette Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2020 | Published: 30 March 2021

About the author(s)

Ntsoaki L. Meko, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Mariette Nel, Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The role of psychosocial determinants of overweight and obesity is receiving attention in South African literature. South Africans tend to exhibit an inaccurate perception of their body weight.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine levels of body satisfaction in female staff members working in primary schools in Mangaung, Bloemfontein.

Setting: Mangaung is a peri-urban area in Bloemfontein in the Free State province of South Africa.

Methods: Female staff members over the age of 18 years were invited to participate in the study. Anthropometric measurements of weight and height were measured using standardised techniques to calculate body mass index (BMI). Waist circumference (WC) was measured as an indicator of risk for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Weight satisfaction was measured using a structured, self-administered body satisfaction questionnaire.

Results: The majority of the staff members (71.3%) were classified as obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2); similarly a majority of them were at a high risk of NCDs according to WC. A little over a third (34.8%) of the women perceived themselves to have a normal weight. The majority of the women who had no concern with their body image were obese (59.1%) and only 8.7% of the women in this study were markedly concerned with their body image. Of the 60.9% of women who reported having attempted to lose weight, 38.6% reported using exercise and 30.0% used water as a weight loss method.

Conclusion: Women’s awareness of a healthy weight should be promoted if efforts to achieve weight loss are to be effective.


Keywords

women; weight satisfaction; body mass index; weight management; body image

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