Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Gender differences in weight related concerns in early to late adolescence
  1. H Sweeting,
  2. P West
  1. MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, 4, Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow, G12 8RZ, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr H Sweeting;

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Among adults, women are more likely than men to perceive themselves as too heavy for their height, the gender discrepancy being greatest among those within a “normal” weight range.1,2 This finding has been explained in terms of the equation of female beauty with extreme thinness.2 As the physical changes of puberty are differentiated by gender, with males experiencing increased skeletal and muscle mass but females a gain in fat, this life stage has been seen as key for the development of female body dissatisfaction and associated problems such as lowered self esteem and eating disorders.3 In this analysis we compare changes in worries about putting on weight and dieting with actual body mass index at ages 11, 13, and 15.


Data are from the West of Scotland 11 to 16 Study: Teenage Health, a longitudinal school based survey of health and health behaviours in a cohort resident in and around Glasgow.4 Respondents were recruited in 1994–5 during their final year of primary schooling (aged 11, n=2586, a response rate of 93% of the issued sample). They were re-surveyed after the transition to secondary …

View Full Text


  • Funding: Helen Sweeting and Patrick West are supported financially by the Medical Research Council of Great Britain.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.

Linked Articles

  • In this issue
    John R Ashton Carlos Alvarez-Dardet