Main Article Content
Objectives: To study body image perceptions and body image dissatisfaction, and their relationship with Body Mass Index (BMI) among medical students in Oman. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among students of a private medical college in Oman. Data (including self-reported weight and height) was collected through a questionnaire-based survey. Body image perception and satisfaction were assessed using Stunkard Figure Rating Scale (FRS).. Students' responses were collected, analyzed, and interpreted. Results: A total of 351 medical students participated in the study (mean age of 21.6 + 2.2 years, mean BMI of 22.7 + 4.3 kg/m 2 ). Most students were within normal ranges of BMI (63%), 12% were underweight and 25% overweight/ with obesity. Around 66% of students perceived their body image correctly; students at extremes of BMI were more accurate about their body image perceptions. Body image dissatisfaction was high (80%) among the respondents ; 73.5% 0f those dissatisfied desired to be thinner. The association between self-reported BMI with perceived BMI and body image dissatisfaction was significant (p<0.001). Only 18.2% of students felt "attractive". The association between body image perception and body image dissatisfaction was statistically significant (p<0.05). Conclusion: A high degree of body image dissatisfaction and incorrect body image perceptions exists among medical students. There is an increased desire to be thinner and a majority feel unattractive. There is a need to foster healthy body image perceptions among students of health sciences as they are the future in healthcare and can influence the health beliefs in our society.
Keywords: Body Image Perception; Body Image Dissatisfaction; Body Mass Index; Medical Students.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.