A comparison of body perceptions in relation to measured body composition in young Japanese males and females.

Research paper by M M Kagawa, C C Kuroiwa, K K Uenishi, M M Mori, S S Dhaliwal, A P AP Hills, C W CW Binns

Indexed on: 20 Dec '07Published on: 20 Dec '07Published in: Body Image


The body composition of 139 Japanese females and 84 Japanese males (aged 18-30 years) was measured using anthropometry to assess gender differences in body perceptions in relation to their measured values. Participants were asked to rate perceptions of their own "heaviness" and "fatness" and these were compared to their BMI and percent body fat (%BF). Japanese females showed a significantly greater desire to lose body weight (-4.20+/-0.6 kg) compared to males (0.27+/-1.4 kg). Females also showed poor understanding of their "heaviness" and "fatness" in relation to actual body composition compared to males. The results confirmed distinct gender differences in body perception in relation to actual body composition and attitudes to weight management. Further promotion of "healthy" body image is recommended for the Japanese population.