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An exploration of the attitudinal and perceptual dimensions of body image among male and female adolescents from six Latin American cities.

The concept of body image consists of an attitudinal and a perceptual dimension. The attitudinal aspect is reflected in the positive or negative feelings people have about their body, that is, how satisfied they are with their physical self. The perceptual component relates to how accurately people estimate their body size, that is, the discrepancy between their estimated body size as assessed from a subjective measure and their actual body size as assessed from an objective measure (Gardner, 1996). Ample evidence indicates that disturbances can occur in either of these dimensions, especially among adolescents and young adults, who are considered vulnerable to body image problems (McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2003).

Adolescence is a lifecycle stage characterized by physiologic, emotional, and cognitive changes, and by an increased preoccupation with physical appearance. This preoccupation often centers around a strong desire to attain the socially sanctioned muscular male or slender female body types that young people are constantly exposed to in advertisements, music videos, and films (Morrison, Kalin, & Morrison, 2004; LeCroy, 2004). Adolescent girls, for example, frequently become dissatisfied with their increased adiposity as they go through puberty. Accordingly, these girls may adopt unhealthy strategies to alter their body size, including severe caloric restriction, self-induced vomiting, overuse of diet pills, laxatives and diuretics, and compulsive exercising (Harrison, 2001; Devlin & Zhu, 2001; Law & Deixoto, 2002). Such body dissatisfaction and body-change strategies have been reported for samples of female adolescents from Turkey (Cok, 1990), Fiji (Becker, 1995), Taiwan (Chen, Shaffer, & Wu, 1997), the United States (Guinn, Semper, Jorgensen, & Skaggs, 1997), Brazil (Fonseca, Sichieri, & Veiga, 1998), and Korea (Kim & Kim, 2001). Although these and other studies have found that body image disturbances are more prevalent among female than male adolescents, mounting evidence suggests that body dissatisfaction and body-change practices are increasing among teenage boys (Cohane & Pope, 2001; Devlin & Zhu, 2001; Law & Deixoto, 2002; McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2003).

Central to a body image disturbance is the belief that body size defines the identity and determines the worthiness of the individual. Consequently, in vulnerable persons, failure to achieve the body ideal can foster body dissatisfaction, lowered self-esteem, and intense guilt feelings (Pritchard, King, & Czajka-Narins, 1997; LeCroy, 2004). Several theories have emerged to explain the development of an unfavorable body image. Proponents of the family perspective theory observe that the family is a primary mediator of cultural norms and values. Accordingly, the extent to which the family communicates the cultural ideal to its members, and the manner in which this message is conveyed and interpreted, strongly impact the formation of a body image (Walsh, 1993; Keel, Heatherton, & Harnden, 1997; Haeworth-Hoettner, 2000). Researchers favoring the sociocultural theory propose that body image problems stem from the messages conveyed by various forces comprising the individual's cultural milieu, including norms and values, personal interactions, religious beliefs, the print and film media, and social expectations which create and promote standards of masculine and feminine attractiveness (Law & Deixoto, 2002; Lokken, Ferraro, Kirchner, & Bowling, 2003; Morrison, Kalin, & Morrison, 2004). Adherents to the social comparison theory extend this argument by noting that internalization of idealized body images can lead to body dissatisfaction through a social comparison process whereby individuals compare themselves to media-portrayed idealized images, and judge themselves as not meeting social expectations (Slice, Spangier, & Stewart-Agras, 2001; Morrison, Kalin, & Morrison, 2004).

Although research conducted with adolescents from industrialized and developing societies suggests that this age group is particularly vulnerable to body image disturbances, there is a paucity of information on this topic among adolescents from Latin America (Fonseca, Sichieri, & Veiga, 1998). Such research would be useful to health professionals working in adolescent preventive services to determine the need for increased vigilance, given that body image problems can set the stage for eating disorders (Harrison, 2001; Devlin & Zhu, 2001; Law & Deixoto, 2002). Therefore, the objectives of this exploratory study were to examine the attitudinal and perceptual dimensions of body image among male and female adolescents from higher and lower socioeconomic backgrounds in six Latin American cities.


Sampling Methods and Collaborators

Multi-stage sampling methods were used to select eighth- and ninth-grade male and female students attending schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Guatemala City, Guatemala, Havana, Cuba, Lima, Peru, Panama City, Panama, and Santiago, Chile. Selection of cities was based on the size of their adolescent populations and on the availability of collaborators with experience in taking anthropometric measurements and administering questionnaires. Within each city, secondary schools were stratified according to lower or higher socioeconomic status (SES) based on the predominant socioeconomic backgrounds of the student populations. Within each stratum, at least one and at most three schools were chosen using no-probability sampling. Inclusion of schools depended primarily on the willingness of principals and teachers to cooperate with this study. Within the chosen schools, classes were selected at random from the respective grades. The decision to include Havana was based on research suggesting that there are differences in neighborhood characteristics in Havana that allow residents to be assigned to either a higher or lower SES stratum (Cruz & Villamil, 2000; Meerman, 2001).

Prior to data collection, teachers gave a letter to each student describing the nature of the study to parents/guardians and requesting permission to include the student in the study. The voluntary nature of participation and the confidentiality of responses were explained to the participants prior to survey distribution. Receipt of a completed questionnaire was interpreted as obtaining informed consent. This study was approved by the Committee on Human Research in the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Vermont (where the first author was employed at the time data were collected) and by the committee on research at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

School selection, recruitment of participants, and questionnaire administration were accomplished by six on-site PAHO collaborators. These individuals were nutrition professionals and were nationals of the countries where this research was undertaken. The collaborators from Cuba, Peru, and Chile were affiliated with nutrition departments at universities in their home countries, the collaborator from Argentina was employed by the Ministry of Health, the collaborator from Guatemala was on the staff of the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), and the collaborator from Panama was employed by the PAHO field office.

Survey Questionnaire

Data were collected using an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire that was administered in classrooms. Demographic items elicited information concerning gender, age, city of residence, grade in school, and SES. Regarding assessment of SES, it was decided jointly by nutritionists at PAHO headquarters and the on-site collaborators not to measure this variable by administering a formal scale because the data were likely to be of questionable accuracy. Instead, participants were asked to report their street address. The collaborators believed that they were familiar enough with the neighborhoods in their cities to assign each participant to a higher or lower SES group, based on a qualitative evaluation of such neighborhood characteristics as availability of piped-in potable water, regular garbage collection, housing adequacy, and type of market available (Streeten, 1998; Brockerhoff & Brennan, 1998).

The attitudinal and perceptual dimensions of body image were assessed by presenting the participants with a series of nine male and nine female silhouettes that depicted body sizes ranging from extremely thin to morbidly obese (Figure 1). These silhouettes have previously been validated by Stunkard, Sorensen, and Schulsinger (1983) in a study of body image with persons from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The attitudinal dimension was assessed by asking participants to complete a table consisting of three columns. The first column, labeled "Characteristics" listed four descriptors, i.e., attractive, ugly, healthy, and unhealthy. The second and third columns were labeled "Number of Male Silhouette" and "Number of Female Silhouette," respectively. Participants were instructed to write the number of the same-sex and opposite-sex silhouette they most strongly associated with each descriptor under the appropriate column. Therefore, the attitudinal component of body image was measured in part by asking participants for their opinions of various body sizes rather than focusing on their own body size. Body satisfaction, a more personal indicator of the attitudinal dimension, was determined by asking participants to identify the same-sex silhouettes that they believed most accurately depicted their current body size and their desired body size, respectively. The discrepancy between these two selections was then examined. The perceptual dimension was assessed by asking participants to identify the same-sex silhouette that they believed most closely depicted their body size. This selection was then compared to their actual body size as determined from their body mass index (BMI).


Adapted versions of the same questionnaire were administered in all six cities. The original draft was written in English and translated into Spanish. The Spanish language version underwent multiple revisions based on input from nutritionists at PAHO headquarters and from the six collaborators to insure that the vocabulary was age-appropriate and culturally sensitive. Subsequently, the Spanish language versions were translated back into English to verify that the original meaning of each item had been retained (Cassidy, 1994).

The questionnaire was pilot tested with approximately 20 eighth- and ninth-grade students from each study site to ensure clarity of wording and appropriateness of item format. Participants for the pilot study were recruited at schools other than those where the actual study was undertaken.


The collaborators weighed and measured each participant to calculate their BMI using clinical balance beam scales. The BMI (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) is widely used to assess body fatness in adults, and may be used for this purpose with adolescents (Himes & Dietz, 1994). In assigning participants to a weight category, the BMI data for each gender within each city were considered separately, and those adolescents whose BMIs were at or below the 15th percentile for their gender in their respective city were assigned to the lower weight category, those between the 25th and 75th percentiles to the middle weight category, and those at or above the 85th percentile to the heavier weight category.

Data Analysis

Data were analyzed using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS), version 8.0, and SPSS, version 11.5. Summaries of the attitudinal dimension of body image, i.e., those male and female silhouettes regarded as attractive/unattractive and healthy/unhealthy, were tabulated for each gender within each city. When assessing body satisfaction, participants were classified into one of 3 categories based on their selections of the same-sex silhouettes they thought most closely resembled their current and desired body sizes. These categories were designated "Satisfied" if their selection of current and desired silhouettes were the same; "Desiring Thinner" if their selection of current silhouette was heavier than their desired silhouette; or "Desiring Heavie" if their selection of current silhouette was thinner than their desired silhouette. For each city separately, weighted least squares was used to model desired change in body size in terms of GENDER, SES, and BMI and their 2-way interactions. If 2-way interactions were not significant, the model was re-fitted as a main effects only model. Perceptual data were derived from frequency distributions of the silhouettes that the lower weight, middle weight, and heavier weight participants selected as best depicting their body size. In order to interpret the perceptual data, the first three silhouettes were labeled "lower weight," the middle three "middle weight," and the last three "heavier weight." The level of statistical significance was p < 0.05.



Completed questionnaires were received from 1,272 students, 195 from Buenos Aires (95 males, 49% and 100 females, 51%), 212 from Guatemala City (99 males, 47% and 113 females, 53%), 213 from Havana (102 males, 48% and 111 females, 52%) 218 from Lima (111 males, 51% and 107 females, 49%), 195 from Panama City (77 males, 40% and 118 females, 60%), and 239 from Santiago (109 males, 46% and 130 females, 54%). The demographics of the six samples have been reported elsewhere (McArthur, Holbert, & Pena, 2003). In summary, SES distributions, mean ages, and age ranges were similar across the six cities. The youngest group was from Panama City (mean age 13.6, range 12 to 17 years) and the oldest was from Guatemala City (mean age 15.2 years, range 12 to 19 years). Additionally, 78 males and 92 females had BMIs at or below the 15th percentile (the lower weight group), 284 males and 333 females had BMIs between the 25th and 75th percentiles (the middle weight group), and 77 males and 90 females had BMIs at or above the 85th percentile (the heavier weight group).

Attitudinal Dimension of Body Image

As reflected in Table 1, the percentage of adolescents who chose silhouette #2, #3, or #4 as best depicting the attractive male/female body was approximately 90%. Similarly, the percentage who chose one of these silhouettes as best depicting the healthy male/female body was approximately 85%. Table 1 shows, for each city and gender, the distribution of choices among these 3 silhouettes and all others.

Silhouette #3 was most frequently selected as depicting the attractive male body, chosen by approximately 50% of the male and female participants. The only exception to this pattern occurred among Guatemala City females, 51% of whom chose the slimmer silhouette #2. For all six samples and both genders combined, 29% chose silhouette #2, 48% chose #3, and 15% chose #4 as depicting the attractive male body (Table 1, column 1).

In every city, females chose the slimmer silhouette #2 most frequently as best depicting the attractive female body, whereas males tended to choose silhouette #3. Again, the exception to this pattern occurred in Guatemala City, where both males and females chose silhouette #2 most often. For all six samples combined, 45% of males selected silhouette #3, while 45% of females chose #2 as best depicting attractiveness (Table 1, column 2).

In four of the six cities, both males and females selected silhouette #3 most frequently as best depicting the healthy male body. Guatemala City and Havana were the exceptions, where, unlike males, females tended to choose silhouette #2. For all six samples and both genders combined, 26% of the participants chose silhouette #2, 41% chose #3, and 19% chose #4 as depicting the healthy male body (Table 1, column 3).

In every city, males selected silhouette #3 most often as best depicting the healthy female body. Females, however, tended to choose silhouette #2. The two exceptions were in Buenos Aires and Santiago, where females generally chose silhouette #3 over silhouette #2 as the most healthy female body. For all six samples and both genders combined, 33% of the adolescents chose silhouette #2, 38% chose #3, and 14% chose #4 as depicting the healthy female body (Table 1, column 4).

Body Satisfaction

Two factor interaction effects were not statistically significant when body satisfaction was modeled in terms of gender, SES, and BMI. Consequently, results are reported from a main effects model fitted to the data from each city separately.

The effect of gender on body satisfaction was significant (p < 0.05) in five of the six cities, with a higher percentage of females than males preferring to be thinner. The exception was Havana, where the distribution of desired change in body size was almost identical for males and females. The sharpest gender deference in desired change in body size was in Buenos Aires, where 62% of females but only 28% of males preferred to be thinner (Table 2, columns 1 and 2). For the six cities combined, adolescents from higher SES backgrounds were more likely to want to be thinner than those from lower SES backgrounds, although this difference was generally not statistically significant. Again the exception was Buenos Aires, where 51% of lower SES but 42% of higher SES adolescents preferred to be thinner (Table 2, columns 3 and 4).

In each city, the effect of BMI on body satisfaction was highly significant (p < 0.001). For all six cities combined, 39% of the middle weight and 89% of the heavier weight adolescents indicated a desire to be thinner. This trend was quite stable across the six cities (Table 2, columns 5, 6, and 7).

Perceptual Dimension of Body Image

Among the lower weight participants, 69 males (88%) and 90 females (98%) selected one of the first three (lower weight) silhouettes as best depicting their body size. Among the middle weight adolescents, 205 males (72%) and 280 females (84%) selected one of the first three silhouettes, while 77 males (27%) and 53 females (16%) selected one of the middle three (middle weight) silhouettes. Lastly, eight of the heavier weight males (10%) and 34 of the heavier weight females (38%) selected one of the first three silhouettes, 61 males (79%) and 54 females (60%) selected one of the three middle silhouettes, and only eight males (10%) and two females (2%) selected one of the last three (heavier weight) silhouettes as best depicting their body size.


The male and female adolescents in the present study revealed a strong preference for the lower weight silhouettes #2 and #3 as best depicting feminine attractiveness and good health, with the girls showing an even stronger preference for the lower weight silhouette #2 than the boys. These results are of concern because they not only suggest that these girls harbor a strong appreciation for the extremely thin female body, but that they also believe that this body size, suggestive of undernutrition, depicts good health. This preference for thinness has previously been reported for female adolescents from Latin America by Fonseca, Sichieri, and Veiga (1998), who noted that the intense pursuit of thinness, so prevalent among teenage girls from the U.S., is also widespread among Brazilian girls. Since the present study did not seek to identify the sociocultural factors in these six Latin American cities that may be fostering an appreciation for the thinner body among the participants, we can only speculate that perhaps frequent exposure to media-portrayed images of slender female bodies, and family and peer pressures to be thin, may be influencing this preference. In this regard, several authors have observed that the same idealized images of male and female attractiveness conveyed by the print and film media in industrialized societies are being disseminated continuously in industrializing societies, where they appear to be promoting change in traditional standards of masculine and feminine attractiveness (Durvasula, Lysonski, & Watson, 2001; Devlin & Zhu, 2001). The present findings suggest a need, among these female adolescents, for culturally appropriate, interactive, and enjoyable educational interventions focusing on the importance of achieving a healthy weight during adolescence to promote proper growth and development. Several authors have described successful school-based programs for adolescents that emphasize these concepts. To illustrate, James, Rienzo, and Frazee (1997) reported that ninth-grade students from the U.S. were interested in viewing videos featuring teenagers from different SES backgrounds in success stories concerning unhealthy eating, food preparation, nutrition and fitness, and achieving a healthy weight.

The male participants identified the slender silhouette #3 most frequently as depicting masculine attractiveness and good health. This finding appears at first to contradict those of Law and Deixoto (2002) and of McCabe and Ricciardelli (2003) who noted that boys prefer a bulkier, muscular masculine body over a thinner body. However, one possible explanation for the present finding is that these boys interpreted the bulkier male silhouettes as bearing more body fat rather than more lean body mass. Therefore, their frequent selection of the slender silhouette may reflect their disapproval of excess adiposity rather than their preference for a thin male body.

The present findings suggest that very few of the heavier male and female participants perceived themselves as heavy, based on their selections of the lighter and middle weight silhouettes as best depicting their body size. Possible explanations for these findings are that these adolescents knew they were overweight, but were embarrassed to identify the heavier silhouettes as best depicting their body size, that they knew they were participating in a health-related study, and wanted to please the collaborators by choosing the silhouettes that they regarded as healthier, or that it was difficult for them to accurately estimate their body size by using the silhouettes. Regardless of why these heavier participants chose the lower weight silhouettes, body dissatisfaction was especially widespread among this subgroup. This body dissatisfaction could serve a useful purpose if it were to motivate these adolescents to participate in educational interventions offering safe and effective weight management strategies. Evidence from the U.S. has shown that overweight teenagers are interested in learning more about weight management and in participating in weight management programs. For example, Neumark-Sztainer and Story (1997) reported that overweight adolescents were interested in participating in school-based weight management programs, provided they were conducted in a supportive manner. The adolescents in their study indicated that these programs must be enjoyable, informative, sensitive to the needs of overweight youth, and must not conflict with other activities. These adolescents also preferred program leaders who were overweight and who understood the difficulties faced by overweight youth.

A finding of particular concern was that almost 40% of the participants who were assigned to the middle weight category based on their BMI desired to be thinner, even though almost three-fourths of these males and over three-fourths of these females already perceived themselves as slender. Such body dissatisfaction could prompt these adolescents to pursue an unhealthy and unrealistic body size by adopting potentially harmful weight-reducing behaviors that could compromise their nutritional status, linear growth, and development. Even though these findings were generated by small, nonprobability samples, they were consistent across the six cities, and can serve to alert health professionals working in adolescent preventive services to the need for closer monitoring of body image development, and for interventions intended to enhance body size acceptance and self-esteem. Kater, Rohwer, and Londre (2002) have noted that schools are promising locations for offering such interventions. Schools have large, captive audiences of adolescents and provide a natural learning environment that can reinforce positive messages. Additionally, schools can offer opportunities for long-term peer support. One such educational activity might be to offer an adapted version of the curriculum developed by Kater et al. (2002) titled "Healthy Body Image: Teaching Kids to Eat and Love Their Bodies Too." These authors reported a significant increase in the knowledge base of their target audience regarding body image-related issues, and concluded that their intervention could prove useful to adolescents as they face increasing pressures about appearance, weight, and eating.

Body dissatisfaction was also more common among female than male adolescents, and more common among adolescents from higher than from lower SES backgrounds. Similar findings have been reported by Cok (1990) for adolescents from Turkey, and by Ferron (1997) who compared adolescents from France and the U.S. Future studies should identify the psychosocial factors that may be stimulating such negative feelings among girls from wealthier families in the six study sites, and identify the weight-loss expectancies, i.e., anticipated favorable outcomes these girls hope to achieve by losing weight.

Although the present findings were derived from small nonprobability samples, the on-site collaborators judged the participating schools to be typical of their particular stratum. Therefore, these preliminary data will serve as a useful benchmark for future studies examining the components of body image among adolescents in the six study sites. If other investigators confirm the present findings, future research should assess the extent to which adolescents with body image problems are adopting potentially harmful weight reduction strategies. Additionaly, validation of the present findings would suggest a need for culturally sensitive and age- and gender-appropriate preventive interventions that seek to promote body-size acceptance and healthy lifestyle behaviors among these vulnerable populations.

The authors wish to thank the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization for funding this research, and the six collaborators who assisted with data collection: Veronica Molina (Guatemala City, Guatemala); Marines Sanchez-Grinan (Lima, Peru); Raul Fuillerat (Havana, Cuba); Silvia Franco (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Vicky Valdez (Panama City); and Juliana Kain (Santiago, Chile).


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Laura H. McArthur, PhD., Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858.

Donald Holbert, PhD., Department of Biostatistics, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858.

Manuel Pena, PhD, MD, Jamaica Representative to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Laura McArthur, PhD, Department of Nutrition and Hospitality, Management, Room 148 Rivers Building, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858. E-mail:
Table 1. Attractive and Healthy Male and Female Body Images, by Gender,
for Adolescents from Six Latin American Cities

 Attractive Male

City #2 #3 #4 Oth (n)

Buenos Aires
 Males 24 52 17 7 (88)
 Females 28 50 14 8 (92)
Guatemala City
 Males 28 45 22 5 (92)
 Females 51 33 7 9 (110)
 Males 12 57 20 11 (85)
 Females 32 40 13 15 (97)
 Males 19 53 21 7 (104)
 Females 30 49 9 12 (102)
Panama City
 Males 20 54 17 9 (54)
 Females 41 51 3 5 (103)
 Males 20 44 31 5 (85)
 Females 29 53 13 5 (118)
All Cities
 Males 21 50 22 7 (508)
 Females 35 46 10 9 (622)

 Attractive Female

City #2 #3 #4 Oth (n)

Buenos Aires
 Males 33 52 10 5 (79)
 Females 47 31 2 20 (97)
Guatemala City
 Males 54 31 9 6 (93)
 Females 46 20 3 31 (110)
 Males 23 47 19 11 (91)
 Females 36 27 14 23 (94)
 Males 38 41 12 9 (110)
 Females 44 28 10 18 (101)
Panama City
 Males 32 60 3 5 (60)
 Females 54 30 1 15 (101)
 Males 38 48 9 5 (85)
 Females 43 30 7 20 (122)
All Cities
 Males 37 45 11 7 (518)
 Females 45 28 6 21 (625)

 Healthy Male

City #2 #3 #4 Oth (n)

Buenos Aires
 Males 18 43 21 18 (87)
 Females 19 40 27 14 (92)
Guatemala City
 Males 28 45 16 11 (93)
 Females 47 38 9 6 (109)
 Males 12 43 26 19 (91)
 Females 30 29 11 30 (100)
 Males 20 44 19 17 (108)
 Females 21 31 28 20 (98)
Panama City
 Males 34 36 20 10 (61)
 Females 36 45 10 9 (103)
 Males 18 51 24 7 (85)
 Females 27 44 16 13 (113)
All Cities
 Males 21 44 21 14 (525)
 Females 30 38 16 16 (615)

 Healthy Female

City #2 #3 #4 Oth (n)

Buenos Aires
 Males 31 31 20 18 (77)
 Females 24 37 24 15 (97)
Guatemala City
 Males 39 41 14 6 (91)
 Females 43 38 5 14 (109)
 Males 15 45 22 18 (92)
 Females 32 25 13 30 (99)
 Males 28 39 16 17 (113)
 Females 34 30 17 19 (96)
Panama City
 Males 30 50 8 12 (64)
 Females 50 34 8 8 (104)
 Males 33 39 23 5 (80)
 Females 35 45 7 13 (115)
All Cities
 Males 29 40 17 14 (517)
 Females 37 35 12 16 (620)

Note. Subjects viewed 9 body images, from #1 = lightest to
#9 = heaviest.

#2 = percent choosing image #2.

#3 = percent choosing image #3.

#4 = percent choosing image #4.

Oth = percent choosing some other image.

Table 2. Body Satisfaction, by Gender, SES, and BMI Category, for
Adolescents from Six Latin American Cities


 Female Male

City PT OK PH (n) PT OK PH (n)
Buenos 62 20 18 (97) 28 38 34 (85)
Guatemala 54 33 13 (105) 30 36 34 (95)
Havana 29 40 31 (107) 30 38 32 (101)
Lima 47 28 25 (109) 37 30 33 (110)
Panama 50 39 11 (104) 44 29 27 (63
Santiago 55 32 13 (118) 31 43 26 (104)
All Cities 49 32 19 (640) 33 36 31 (558)


 Lower Higher

City PT OK PH (n) PT OK PH (n)
Buenos 51 24 25 (80) 42 31 27 (101)
Guatemala 43 29 28 (103) 43 39 18 (97)
Havana 26 35 39 (107) 33 43 24 (101)
Lima 37 26 37 (102) 48 31 21 (111)
Panama 38 41 21 (81) 57 30 13 (86)
Santiago 39 37 24 (98) 47 38 15 (123)
All Cities 38 32 30 (571) 45 35 20 (619)

 BMI Category

 Lower Middle

City PT OK PH (n) PT OK PH (n)
Buenos 12 24 64 (25) 42 38 20 (94)
Guatemala 4 48 48 (29) 44 39 17 (101)
Havana 17 17 66 (29) 24 48 28 (106)
Lima 10 32 58 (31) 41 32 27 (111)
Panama 14 41 45 (22) 47 40 13 (81)
Santiago 3 36 61 (31) 42 44 14 (107)
All Cities 10 33 57 (167) 39 40 21 (600)

 BMI Category


City PT OK PH (n)
Buenos 92 8 0 (24)
Guatemala 93 7 0 (28)
Havana 71 29 0 (28)
Lima 87 13 0 (31)
Panama 95 5 0 (21)
Santiago 97 3 0 (29)
All Cities 89 11 0 (161)

Note. PT = percent preferring to be thinner; OK = percent OK as is;
PH = percent preferring to be heavier. BMI category: lower = at or
below 15th percentile BMI for city and gender; middle = between
25th and 75th percentile BMI for city and gender; heavier = at or
above 85th percentile BMI for city and gender.
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Author:McArthur, Laura H.; Holbert, Donald; Pena, Manuel
Geographic Code:0LATI
Date:Dec 22, 2005
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