A comparison of body composition, body cathexis, and attitude toward obesity in women with different levels of physical activity Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/sx61dp66q

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  • The purpose of this study was to identify significant differences in body composition, body cathexis, and attitudes toward obesity of women in various age groups involved in different levels of physical exercise. A total of 216 women, ranging in age from 17 to 64, took part in this study. They were classified into three age groups: col legeage, beyond college-age, and middle-aged, then further divided into three exercise categories: very active, moderately active, and relatively inactive. All subjects completed the Physical Activity and Body Cathexis Survey. Then the subjects submitted themselves to a series of skinfold fat measurement. In determining the subjects' feelings toward their bodies, the Secord and Jourard's Body Cathexis Scale (1953) was utilized to collect the data. Bray's Obesity Attitude Scale (1973) was employed to investigate the subjects' attitudes toward obesity. The prediction equation developed by Jackson et al. (1980) was used to determine the subjects' body density. The measurements were taken at triceps,thigh, and suprailium skinfolds. The percentage of body fat was derived from the formula of Siri's (1961). The results indicated that the middle-aged women had a higher percentage of body fat and lower amount of lean body mass than the beyond college-age women. There was, however, no significant difference between the body composition of the col lege-age and the beyond college-age women. Different levels of physical activity performed by women had significant effects on their body fat percentage and their body cathexis. Subjects in the very active level of physical exercise showed the lowest percentage of body fat and the most positive attitudes toward their bodies. Attitudes toward obesity between women, young or old, exercising or not exercising, were not significantly different. Women's obesity attitudes were not affected by either age or levels of physical activity.
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