The effect of maternal obesity on self-esteem and body image

Erkaya R. , Karabulutlu O., Calik K. Y.

SAUDI JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, vol.25, no.6, pp.1079-1084, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2018.02.003
  • Page Numbers: pp.1079-1084


stress, dissatisfaction and the feeling of inadequacy experienced as a result of the change in appearance caused by weight gain affects self -esteem and body image of pregnant women negatively. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between maternal obesity, self-esteem and body image. The study was performed through a questionnaire in a state hospital in Trabzon, Turkey with 300 unselected pregnant women who were recruited from the delivery unit. As data collection tools, Body Image Scale (BAS) and Coopersmith Self-Esteem Scale (GIS) were used between April and May 2016. According to BMI variables, 12.3%, 57.0% and 30.7% of the pregnant women were normal, overweight and obese respectively and gained an average of 12.11 +/- 3.03 kg during pregnancy. Accordingly, the majority of pregnant women who participated in this study were found to be overweight and obese. While the body image of pregnant women surveyed in this study was at a high level (158.84 +/- 21.34), their average self-esteem was found at a moderate level (64.01 +/- 15.88). Based on BMI, 56.8% of the women with normal weight perceived themselves as normal, 48.0% of overweight women perceived themselves as normal and 53.3% of obese women perceived themselves as overweight. There was a positive significant relationship between participants' body image and their BMI (r = 0.119 p < 0.05). The pregnant women with normal BMI were more likely to feel satisfied. While 56.8% of the pregnant women at normal weight based on BMI were found to feel satisfied and 43.3% of those overweight felt satisfied, 54.3% of obese ones did not feel satisfied. A weak positive significant correlation was found between body image and self-esteem (r = 0.172; p = 0.003 < 0.05). As the self-esteem increases, body image increases, too. It was found that the majority of pregnant women were overweight and obese according to BMI and their average body image and self-esteem were high and medium level respectively. (C) 2018 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.