Title : Association of Actual Obesity and Discordance of Body Image with Suicidal Behaviors among Korean adolescents
Suicide in adolescents is one of the most important mental health issues worldwide. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data, the suicide rate of Korean adolescents has progressively increased over the years, with a 12.2% increase from 2019 to a death rate of 11.1 per 100,000 in 2020, ranking the highest among the 37 countries. Korean adolescents answered that 12.5% had suicidal ideation, 3.8% suicidal plans, and 2.1% have attempted suicide. Most of the researches conducted on risk factors for suicide in Korean adolescents have commonly focused on mental health issues such as depression, hopelessness, and past suicidal behavior. These are without a doubt important factors of suicide, however other factors such as attitudes toward the body and obesity have drawn less attention although highly relevant to this age group. Body dissatisfaction can lead to eating disorders, depression, and low self-esteem, which are linked to increased suicide risk. This study investigated the association of obese body image with suicidal ideation, plans and attempts among Korean adolescents.
The aim of this study is to test whether overestimated body shape perception compared to actual obesity would account for the likelihood of suicide. If so, activate the intervention and education to improve mental health through the positive body shape perception in adolescents.
This study used data from the 2021 Korea Youth's Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey and included 53,445 students who had completed the survey. The data were analyzed by chi-square test, logistic regression analysis to test the relationship between actual obesity, perceptional body image, and their concordance with suicide-related behavior.
Adolescents with discordance between actual weight and subjective body image, who perceive themselves as being obese were more likely to have suicidal ideation (OR 1.28, 95% CI:1.21-1.36), suicidal plans (OR 1.32, 95% CI:1.18-1.47), and attempted suicide (OR 1.42, 95% CI:1.24-1.64) than those who have a unity between the two.
The risk of suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts were higher in Korean adolescents, both males and females, who perceive themselves as overweight than actual weight. Results encourage the inclusion of body image discordance as a variable in risk models for adolescent suicidal behaviors when developing suicide prevention interventions and plans.
What will audience learn from your presentation?
(Try to list 3-5 specific items)
- Results will encourage the inclusion of body image discordance as a variable in risk models for adolescent suicidal behaviors when developing suicide prevention interventions and plans.
- The results of this study will activate the intervention and education to improve mental health through the positive and sound body shape perception in adolescents.
- It can help reduce unnecessary weight loss or use of improper methods to lose weight in adolescents.
- Doctors can educate their teenage patients to have a right body shape perception to help them have a higher self-esteem.
- Help develop public policies that pursue strategies to alleviate the stress that adolescents receive to look skinny due to the effect of commercial ads and programs.