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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Teresa M. Kemmer


Objectives: Determine body image perceptions among rural-residing preadolescents and examine the effects of a nutrition and physical activity intervention program on body image perception. Methods: Fifth and sixth grade students from five rural South Dakota schools participating in the randomized KidQuest intervention program were studied. Seven nutrition lessons with physical activity components were taught from January 2012 to May 2012. Pre-and post-intervention body mass index (BMI) data as well as children’s responses to questions regarding body image perception, weight concern, weight description, and Tanner stage were used for analysis.
Results: Seventy-six fifth and sixth grade students (36 case, 40 control) participated. At post-intervention, 38% of children selected a thinner preferred body image than their self body image compared to 55% at pre-intervention. Using multiple linear regression analysis with adjustments to control confounding, the intervention status was not associated with change in body image discrepancy (BID) score. However, gender (p=0.033) had a significant effect on the change in BID scores from pre- to post-intervention. Using multiple logistic regression analysis, Tanner stage at baseline (Tanner stage 1 p=0.003; Tanner stage 2 p=0.002) had a significant effect on the direction of change in BID scores from pre- to post-intervention.
Conclusions: Body image perception varies significantly between children of different genders and Tanner stages. This should be considered when developing interventions to reduce obesity in children. Body image perception was not positively or negatively influenced by the intervention.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Body image in children--South Dakota
Body image in children--Sex differences--South Dakota
Rural children--South Dakota--Attitides


Includes bibliographical references (pages 20-29).



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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