Effects of obesity on perception of ability and perception of body image in Portuguese children and adolescents


  • Miguel Peralta University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Adilson Marques University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • João Martins University of Lisbon Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies, Portugal
  • Hugo Sarmento University Institute of Maia, Avioso São Pedro, Portugal
  • Francisco Carreiro da Costa University of Lisbon Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies, Portugal




Weight status, Physical activity, Intervention programs, Students


Worldwide, the prevalence of child obesity is increasing, which is the cause of great preoccupation for governments and health politics developers. The purpose of this study was to examine differences of ability and body image perceptions related to weight status in children and adolescents and explore them as correlates of BMI. Two thousand five hundred and sixty nine adolescents participated in the study (1303 boys, 1266 girls; M age=13.3±2.4 years). The students were questioned about perceptions of ability and body image, and the body mass index was calculated. Findings revealed that overweight participants felt less athletic, agile, fast and fit and had overall lower self-image perception than normal weight participants; regardless of the age, perceptions of elegance and body mass decreased significantly with increasing BMI. Taking in consideration the dangers of overweight related to the perception of body image, it is important to start to develop effective intervention programs that combine physical activity and psychological support, exploring the benefits of strength training.


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How to Cite

Peralta, M., Marques, A., Martins, J., Sarmento, H., & Carreiro da Costa, F. (2017). Effects of obesity on perception of ability and perception of body image in Portuguese children and adolescents. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 11(3), 367–375. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2016.113.05



Physical Education / Children & Exercise

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