Submitted to: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/28/2005
Publication Date: 10/5/2005
Citation: Lee, C.Y., Sailors, M.H., Jackson, A., Ellis, K., Bush, J., Turpin, I., Miller, F., Callie, M.E., Bray, M.S. 2005. Body image and correlation with body composition and attrition rate in the TIGER study [abstract]. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 37(5Suppl):S173. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Body image can be a very important part of determining an individual's outlook and behavior. Previous research has shown that the degree of satisfaction women have with their bodies may vary across race and may have a significant impact on an individual's motivation and commitment to a regular exercise program. The purposes of this study were to test for differences in levels of body image anxiety across three ethnic groups, to examine the correlation between body image and body composition, and to measure the ability of body image anxiety level to predict rate of attrition from an exercise program conducted at a large university. The sample consisted of 35 non-Hispanic white (NHW), 22 Hispanic (H), and 49 African American (AA) females participating in the first year of the Training Interventions and Genetics of Exercise Response (TIGER) Study. The Physical Appearance State and Trait Anxiety Scale (PASTAS) was used to measure level of body image anxiety. Linear regression was used to test the association between body image and body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and body weight. Prediction of attrition rate from the program according to level of body image anxiety was examined using survival analysis. Despite mean BMI for Hispanic women (26.6 +/- 5.3 kg/m**2) being significantly lower than that of AA (31.5 +/- 7.7 kg/m2) but not different from NHW (28.7 +/- 7.2 kg/m**2), there were no significant differences in body image perceptions among the three racial groups as measured by PASTAS scores (NHW: 2.48 +/- 0.7; H: 2.51 +/- 0.5; AA: 2.45 +/- 0.8). PASTAS scores were positively correlated with all three of the body composition measures, translating to an association of higher anxiety with greater values for BMI, waist circumference, and body weight (p<.0001 for all). PASTAS scores were not found to be predictive of time to attrition in the TIGER study. However, student/staff status was significantly predictive of a shorter length of participation in the program (p=.0065). Findings from this study will contribute to the existing literature regarding body image across ethnicities and also indicate future directions for studies examining the relationship of body image to body composition and its impact on adherence to regular exercise programs.