International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Relationships between Body Mass Index, Body Image Dissatisfaction and Psychological Distress among Fitness Center Female Users in Zarqa-Jordan
Dr. Jehad Alaedein Zawawi

One hundred and seventy-seven women aged 20 to 55 years with a body mass index (BMI; M=30.4, SD=3.2) range between 25.5 and 45 kg/m2, attending their first week of exercising in a physical fitness center located in Zarqa-Jordan were recruited to participate in this study. Five scales of Body Mass Index (BMI), Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ-14), The Body Dissatisfaction Scale (BSS), Centre for Epidemiologic Studies depression scale (CES-D), and The Negative Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE), were used to assess the relationship between BMI, perceptions of body shape dissatisfaction and psychological distress. Results showed that scores on the BMI were positively correlated with the BSQ, BSS, CES-D, and negative RSE (r =0.73, 0.36, 0.35, 0.23, p< .01), respectively. Thus, women who have higher BMI, tend to report greater dissatisfaction with their physical selves, being more depressed, and having more negative self-esteem, comparing to those with lower BMI. Additionally, scores on BSQ were positively correlated with the BSS, CES-D, and negative RSE (r = 0.32, 0.44, 0.35, p < .01), respectively. Furthermore, positive significant correlations were observed between scores on the BSS and CES-D, and negative RSE (r = 0.21, 0.31, p <.01), respectively. Lastly, scores on the CES-D were positively correlated with negative RSE (r = 0.604, p <.01). Moreover, regression results show that while depression was the best predictor of (BSQ-14), and contributed (19.2%) of variance in body shape negative perceptions, self-esteem was the best predictor and contributed (9.8 %) of variance in Body Dissatisfaction (BSS). Also, body image dissatisfaction significantly mediated the relation between BMI and psychological distress. Further analysis of comparison between participants by age, education, marital and work status on BSQ and BSS, show that younger, married, not working overweight and obese women are more prone to score higher on negative perceptions and dissatisfaction with body shape scales. Future interventions should consider both the mental and physical health of women attending physical fitness centers. Health care providers should monitor the weight of depressive female patients and, similarly, in overweight or obese patients, mood and self-esteem should be monitored. This awareness could lead to prevention, early detection, and co-treatment for women at risk, ultimately reducing the burden of both conditions. There is an urgent need for evaluations of weight management interventions, both in terms of weight loss and psychological benefits among women attendees at physical fitness centers.

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