Revista Adolescência e Saúde

Revista Oficial do Núcleo de Estudos da Saúde do Adolescente / UERJ

NESA Publicação oficial
ISSN: 2177-5281 (Online)

Vol. 16 nº 3 - Jul/Sep - 2019

Original Article Imprimir 

Páginas 102 a 110

Perception and body satisfaction of high school students of a private school in Orleans-SC

Percepción y satisfacción corporal de estudiantes de secundaria de una escuela privada en Orleans-SC

Percepção e satisfação corporal de alunos do ensino médio de uma escola privada em Orleans-SC

Autores: Daniel dos Santos de Jesus1; Diego José Cifuentes2; Bruno Thizon Menegali3; Luciano Acordi da Silva4

1. Graduated in Physical Education - Degree - from the Barriga Verde University Center (UNIBAVE). Orleans, SC, Brazil
2. Graduated from the University of Vale do Itajaí (UNIVALI). Specialist in Exercise Physiology, University of Far South Catarinense (UNESC). Specialist in Exercise Physiology, University of Far South Catarinense (UNESC). NASF Physical Therapist, Lauro Müller Municipal Health Secretary, Owner and Clinical Director of Clínica São Giles - Integrated Health Clinic, Lauro Müller - SC. Professor of Exercise Physiology and Physiology at the Barriga Verde University Center (UNIBAVE). Orleans, SC, Brazil
3. Graduated in Full Degree in Physical Education, Specialization in Exercise Physiology, Specialist in Management and University Leadership from IGLU OUI and Master in Health Sciences. He currently serves as the Commercial and Planning Director of CORE Sports Group and a university professor at the Barriga Verde University Center (UNIBAVE) and the University of Southern Santa Catarina (UNISUL). Orleans, SC, Brazil
4. Graduated in Physical Education at the University of Santa Catarina Extreme and postdoctoral at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences of the University of Santa Catarina Extreme (UNESC). He is a teacher part time in graduate and postgraduate courses at UNESC University and Barriga Verde University Center (UNIBAVE). Orleans, SC, Brazil

Daniel dos Santos de Jesus
Fundação Educacional Barriga Verde (UNIBAVE)
Rua Padre João Leonir Dall'Alba, 601, Murialdo
Orleans, SC, Brasil. CEP: 88870-000

Submitted on 12/21/2018
Approved on 11/03/2019

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How to cite this article

Keywords: Body Image; Adolescent; Faculty; Physical Education and Training.
Palabra Clave: Imagen corporal; Adolescente Profesores; Educación Física y Entrenamiento.
Descritores: Imagem Corporal; Adolescente; Docentes; Educação Física e Treinamento.

OBJECTIVE: This research aims to describe the perception and satisfaction of the body image of high school students of a private school in Orleans-SC.
METHODS: To perform this study, some instruments were used to analyze perception and body satisfaction: the body image questionnaire (BSQ-34), body silhouette figure-BFS, and body mass index (BMI).
RESULTS: It was observed 19.1% of the students had correct perception of their body image and 80.9% did not have correct perception of their body image.
CONCLUSION: There is a concern about those who obtained some degree of the body image distortion in the BSQ questionnaire and also the students who indicated overweight or obesity. In this context, the Physical Education Teacher plays a fundamental role.

OBJETIVO: Esta investigación tiene como objetivo describir la percepción y la satisfacción de la imagen corporal de los estudiantes de secundaria de una escuela privada en Orleans - SC.
MÉTODOS: Para este estudio, se utilizaron algunos instrumentos para analizar la percepción y satisfacción del cuerpo: el cuestionario de imagen corporal (BSQ-34), la figura de silueta corporal (BFS) y la evaluación del índice de masa corporal (IMC).
RESULTADOS: Se observó que el 19.1% de los estudiantes tiene una percepción correcta de su imagen corporal y el 80.9% no tiene una percepción correcta de su imagen corporal.
CONCLUSIÓN: Existe preocupación por aquellos que obtuvieron algún grado de distorsión de la imagen corporal en el cuestionario BSQ y también por los estudiantes que indicaron sobrepeso u obesidad. En este contexto, el profesor de educación física tiene un papel fundamental.

OBJETIVO: Essa pesquisa tem por objetivo descrever a percepção e satisfação da imagem corporal de alunos do ensino médio de uma escola privada de Orleans - SC.
MÉTODOS: Para a realização desse estudo foram utilizados alguns instrumentos para análise da percepção e satisfação corporal: o questionário sobre a imagem corporal (BSQ-34), a figura de silhueta corpórea-BFS, e avaliação do índice de massa corporal (IMC).
RESULTADOS: Observou-se que 19,1% dos alunos tem percepção correta de sua imagem corporal e 80,9% não tem percepção correta da sua imagem corporal.
CONCLUSÃO: Há preocupação com aqueles que obtiveram algum grau de distorção da imagem corporal no questionário BSQ e também os alunos que apontaram sobrepeso ou obesidade. Nesse contexto, o Professor de Educação Física tem papel fundamental.


Studies show that research on body image began in the twentieth century to find out how an injury affected the subject's perception of his body or the space surrounding it. Over time, studies on body perception have changed and new ways of researching it have been created, so there is ample research material in the 21st century1.

Young people in this period seek a way to be "accepted" in society, seeking to form an identity that is well-liked. With this, there is a greater concern with the appearance and fad that the media imposes, making the young people who seek a perfect body grow more and more2.

Physical education focuses much more than on the body, but on the whole man. Therefore, the Physical Education Teacher must be qualified to work with young people, age in which the concern with the physical appearance has been increasing, being able to guide them not only in physical activities, but raising debates and reflections on relevant topics such as perception body, average, health and others that can help in the search for each other's identity3.

This research is justified by the need to analyze the view of adolescents in our region about their body and their satisfaction with the many changes that this phase of life offers, since there is little research on this topic in our territory.

This study had the problem to answer the questions: what is the perception and body satisfaction of high school students and what is the contribution of the physical education teacher to this fact? The overall objective is to describe the perception and satisfaction of body image of high school students, and the specific objectives are to verify the body satisfaction of high school students through a questionnaire and scale, to describe the consequences of perception and body dissatisfaction in adolescent health through literature review, and mention the contributions of the Physical Education Teacher in health promotion in relation to adolescent body dissatisfaction through literature review.

This research is of great relevance, since most of the studies found regarding perception and body satisfaction with high school students are in public schools. Ratifying the foregoing, this research was conducted at a private school in Orleans. Another characteristic that qualifies it is the fact that it has only one study published on this topic in the region, found through a search in the databases of nearby institutions.

The choice of this theme was due to the various changes that adolescents undergo during puberty, as Papalia and Feldman (2013, p. 387) state: "Puberty involves dramatic physical changes" 4. Given this, it aroused the curiosity to know how these individuals see themselves and are satisfied with their body image.

The importance of an assessment of perception and body satisfaction is the frequent dissatisfaction of young people in front of their body, which can lead to serious problems, one of them a known disorder, anorexia. In this disorder the individual creates an obsession with everything they eat and their weight, often lowering their body to a range below their ideal weight5.

This research will help teachers, the school and, consequently, parents, to have feedback on adolescents' self-perception of their body, feelings and longings. The results of this analysis may contribute to the planning of future health projects in the referred school. Therefore, this research becomes of great value when verifying the perception and body satisfaction of adolescents.


Body perception is nothing more than a mental representation of what our body really is, and for body perception research there are two subdivisions, the attitudinal and the perceptual, and this work has focused on the perceptive. Apparatus that allows distortion of body dimensions through tests such as manipulation of lights and bars and registration of the body in frames or sheets of paper can be used to evaluate the size and shape of the body see6.

Already in the last century, more precisely in 1962, there was research that proposed that a symptom of anorexia nervosa was "a disturbance in body image of delusional proportions" (p. 189) 7.


This research was submitted and approved by the Research Ethics Committee - CEP under number 2,787,474.

Regarding the method used, a cross-sectional research was used, which aims to observe factor and effect at a historical moment and which currently being used in many studies8.

To perform this study, some instruments were used to analyze body perception and satisfaction, such as the body image questionnaire (BSQ-34)9, body silhouette figure-BFS10, and body mass index (BMI) evaluation 11 to verify the relationship with the eating condition.

This research, conducted with high school adolescents from a private school in Orleans-SC, is characterized as qualiquantitative (mixed), because there was the use of statistical techniques to translate the opinions and information contained in the research into numbers. Subsequently, this information was classified descriptively, using meaning to the results12.

Regarding the objectives, this research is characterized as descriptive, having as its main focus the description of a given population or phenomenon or the establishment of relationships between variables. Several studies can be classified under this principle and one of its most significant features is the use of standardized data collection techniques13.

The sample consisted of 47 adolescents, 23 males and 24 females. All high school students aged 14 to 18, who have been given permission for parents/guardians to consent to their participation in the research. Afterwards, the research instruments were applied, where each student received a printed questionnaire and a silhouette figure, and had 15 minutes to answer. Subsequently, the weight was measured, where each student went to the balance (Miltary Trail Footprint Digital Scale), with only the school uniform. The student was asked to divide his weight equally between the two lower limbs for better results. Height was measured using a portable stadiometer (compact stadiometer 2 MTS HT-01 MD). To do this, the teenager has stood upright with his feet fixed on the floor for effective measurement. To calculate BMI (Body Mass Index), in addition to recording age, the difference between weight and height squared was calculated. After this, a comparison was made with the standard BMI table and it was verified if the student was within the percentages for his age. All instruments were applied in the classroom.

The Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ) is a self-completion test with 34 questions to be answered on the LIKERT scale from 1 to 6 (1 - never, 2 - rarely, 3 - sometimes, 4 - often, 5 - very often, 6 - always). According to the answer given, a point is marked for the question according to the option made (for example: "always" is worth 6 points). The points obtained are summed and the level of concern with body image is reflected in the final result. If the result is equal to or lower than 110 points, a normal pattern is observed and there is no distortion of body image. With a score between 110 and 138, the classification of body image distortion is considered mild. Between 138 and 167, the classification is a moderate body image distortion and, above 167 points, the classification presents a severe body image distortion.

In the BFS Body Silhouette Figure, the teens had to mark with an "X" the image they consider to represent them, and with an "O" the one they consider ideal for themselves. For the analysis the data were represented as bigger, equal and smaller, in relation to the marked images.

Questionnaires that had one or more unanswered questions were excluded, also excluding the BMI and body silhouette of these adolescents. A total of six (10.3%) questionnaires, along with the rest of the data, were excluded.

In addition to the exclusion processes, there were also adolescents who were not authorized by their parents/guardians to participate in the research, totaling five (8.6%) adolescents.


Forty-seven high school adolescents aged 14 to 18 years participated in the research. The results (Table 1) show that all boys (100%) have a normal pattern regarding the Body Image Questionnaire (BSQ), with the highest result being 110, and the lowest 39. The average obtained was 62.73, far from the pattern of slight distortion of body image. Girls had more worrying results than boys, with 18 (75%) girls with normality of body image distortion, three (12.5%) with mild classification, one (4.2%) with moderate, and two (8.3%) with severe body image distortion. The highest score among girls was 192, with a maximum score of 204 and the lowest 39, resulting in an average of 86.16, considerably higher than the average for boys.

Taking an analysis of the issues in isolation, we can observe that the issue with the highest number of "never" markings was number 26 (Have you vomited to feel thinner?), with 91.49%. The question with the largest number of markings "always" was 33 (Do you become particularly aware of your physique when in the company of other people?), with 29.79%.

Regarding the BMI (Body Mass Index) (Table 2), of the 23 boys who participated in the research, none is malnourished, being 15 (65.2%) normal, six (26.1%) overweight, and two (8.7%) were obese. Data from the 24 girls show that none are malnourished, 22 (91.7%) within normal range, and only two (8.3%) overweight and none were obese.

In the last research instrument applied, the Body Silhouette Scale - BFS, the results (Table 3) show that of the 23 boys, 10 (43.5%) wish to have a smaller silhouette, five (21.7%) indicated as current It is ideal, and eight (34.8%) aim to have a larger silhouette than those marked as current. Regarding girls, 14 (58.3%) indicated that they wanted a smaller silhouette than the current one, four (16.7%) indicated that the current silhouette is ideal, and six (25%) wanted to have a larger silhouette than the current one than the current one.

Performing an analysis of the three research instruments together (Table 4), we can compare the results to know if the adolescents had a correct perception of their body image. However, those that had any alteration in any of the instruments will be highlighted, representing 82.9% of total of participating adolescents. It is noteworthy that the participants were identified as numbers due to ethical issues.

Adolescents 16, 19, 27, 47 and 50, all girls, reported normal BMI. In BSQ they had slight, moderate and severe distortions in silhouette, and all wanted to have a smaller silhouette. Thus, it can be observed that these adolescents do not have a correct body perception, because the BSQ indicated that they are concerned about their body image, when they indicate that they want to have a smaller silhouette despite normal BMIs.

Adolescents 28, 22, 3, 12, 17, 24, 32 and 48 were overweight, but only adolescent 28 showed a good perception of her body, since even overweight, her BSQ presented severe perception distortion, showing a concern for your weight, being overweight and pointing out that you want to have a smaller silhouette. Adolescent 22, male, had a normal BSQ result, however, indicated the desire to have a silhouette equal to the current one, which is overweight, indicating an incorrect perception of body image. The adolescents 3, 12, 17, 24, 32 and 48, male, obtained normal result in BSQ and wished to have a smaller silhouette, even with the result of BMI indicated overweight. Thus, the results indicate an incorrect perception of their body image by these adolescents. Similar results had male adolescents 54 and 55, however, indicating obesity.

Table 4 shows the BMI values of adolescents where 33.3% were normal, 53.3% overweight, and 13.3% obese, and only one girl was overweight.

Regarding BSQ, 20% had mild body image distortion, 6.6% moderate, 60% normal, and 13.3% mild distortion, and no boy had a degree of body image distortion.

Still in this comparison, but not being shown in the table, there were cases in which adolescents achieved a normal BMI, BSQ with normal result, but expressed desire to have a different silhouette from the current one. Ten adolescents, two boys and eight girls, indicated the desire for a smaller silhouette, and 14 adolescents, with eight boys and six girls, indicated the desire for a larger silhouette. Thus, these 24 adolescents have incorrect body image perception.

On the body silhouette scale, 93.3% of adolescents wished to have a smaller silhouette, 6.6% equal, and no teenager wished to have a larger silhouette, with only one boy with an equal silhouette desire, with the rest of both sexes wishing to have a smaller silhouette.

Interestingly, eight (17%) adolescents, five (10.6%) boys and three (6.4%) girls, obtained perception of the correct body image, with normal BMI, BSQ with normality, and marked the ideal silhouette as being marked as actual.

According to the data, only 19.1% of adolescents had a correct perception of their body image, and 80.9% had an incorrect perception of their body image.


This difference in body dissatisfaction between boys and girls is observed in many places including developed countries, where 40% to 70% of female adolescents are dissatisfied with their body, with half of them aiming for a slimmer body14.

Bulimia is the disorder most associated with outcomes, as the individual is usually at or above his or her proper weight, with a tendency to recurrent compulsive episodes, self-induced vomiting for weight control, fear of getting fat and restrictive measures to control the condition. weight15.

It was previously said that adolescents could develop anorexia because none of these, even with changes in BSQ, had BMI indicating malnutrition, all being at or above their ideal weight.

The results presented in part are contrary to WHO data which identifies a higher prevalence of overweight for boys (13.1%) compared to girls (7.5%). Similarly, the WHO obesity data are different from the present study where there is a higher prevalence among girls (10.4%) compared to boys (7.6%), data that are opposed to those presented in this study16.

According to the data presented, we can observe that male adolescents from this private school in Orleans have a higher prevalence of overweight than the national and southern average, while female adolescents were below these averages.

This body dissatisfaction has been built transcending the subjective perception of each being, aiming at a social perspective, having many strong media sources, appealing to a stereotyped beauty standard for girls 'thinness and boys' strength and musculature, which can lead to high patterns of dissatisfaction17.

Such information is observable in the results, since most girls indicated the desire to have a smaller silhouette, which is true among boys as well, since boys were the ones with the highest rates of overweight and obesity. However, a large number of boys had a desire to have a larger silhouette.

According to Mahan, in a study on youth risk behavior, about half (53%) of women and 28% of men reported eating fewer calories or less fat compared to the previous month in an attempt to lose weight or prevent weight gain. Also, 67% of women and 55% of men performed exercises in the last month to lose or gain weight, showing that women are more concerned than men about their body or body image18.

The media also has a great influence on this aspect, making the minds of many young people, so there should be teaching about the subject to the adolescents, in order to help them determine the accuracy and validity of the messages displayed in the ads18.

Teenagers, mostly girls, are desperate; depressed that they fail to reach the standard of beauty that the media imposes on society, even though they are in the process of bodily formation. This should not be the most worrying fact, as we must know who we are, but are limited to the view of what body to have and how to look. This is where Physical Education comes in, which aims to make students reflect on the image archetype that the media diffuses from their body image19.

Body perception and satisfaction are influenced by Physical Education classes, where various activities can cause changes in body image perception, and aerobic exercises and activities with relaxation, meditation, flexibility, have a greater influence on anxiety and well-being, and weight training gives more satisfactory results regarding physical appearance and body satisfaction20.

It is of paramount importance to have classroom discussions about this body pattern and about the bodily influences and procedures or exercises that the media use to publicize perfect body image models. Physical Education classes can be the opportunity for students to perform practical activities that really bring those benefits and also that can reflect on the body they wish to have19.


This research served to describe the perception and body satisfaction of high school students from a private school in Orleans and to cite the contributions of the Physical Education Teacher to this fact. From this, it was observed that 19.1% of students have correct perception of their body image and 80.9% have no correct perception of their body image, presenting alteration in any of the research instruments. There is concern about those who obtained some degree of body image distortion in the BSQ questionnaire and also the students who indicated overweight or obesity.

Within this context, the Physical Education Teacher has a fundamental role, raising discussions about body image, media, surgical procedures and physical activity, encompassing students in these subjects.

In order to the limitations, the silhouette scale has no expressions or drawings inside the figure, and they could facilitate the perception and desire of silhouette pointed out by the students. Important reflections are expected in view of the results obtained and their limitations, so that there is more research in this area, even being able to compare future results with current ones. Recalling that the reserch in this topic, and in our region, are of paramount importance, given the results of this research and the fact that there is only one study about it in the region.


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