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Multimodal Body Representation of Obese Children and Adolescents before and after Weight-Loss Treatment in Comparison to Normal-Weight Children

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Mölbert,  SC
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Space and Body Perception, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Mölbert, S., Sauer, H., Dammann, D., Zipfel, S., Teufel, M., Junne, F., et al. (2016). Multimodal Body Representation of Obese Children and Adolescents before and after Weight-Loss Treatment in Comparison to Normal-Weight Children. PLoS ONE, 11(11), 1-14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166826.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-7953-B
Abstract
Objective The aim of the study was to investigate whether obese children and adolescents have a disturbed body representation as compared to normal-weight participants matched for age and gender and whether their body representation changes in the course of an inpatient weight-reduction program. Methods Sixty obese (OBE) and 27 normal-weight (NW) children and adolescents (age: 9–17) were assessed for body representation using a multi-method approach. Therefore, we assessed body size estimation, tactile size estimation, heartbeat detection accuracy, and attitudes towards one’s own body. OBE were examined upon admission and before discharge of an inpatient weight-reduction program. NW served as cross-sectional control group. Results Body size estimation and heartbeat detection accuracy were similar in OBE and NW. OBE overestimated sizes in tactile size estimation and were more dissatisfied with their body as compared to NW. In OBE but not in NW, several measures of body size estimation correlated with negative body evaluation. After weight-loss treatment, OBE had improved in heartbeat detection accuracy and were less dissatisfied with their body. None of the assessed variables predicted weight-loss success. Conclusions Although OBE children and adolescents generally perceived their body size and internal status of the body accurately, weight reduction improved their heartbeat detection accuracy and body dissatisfaction.