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The role of cultural values and religion on views of body size and eating practices among adolescents from Fiji, Tonga and Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2013-05-01, 00:00 authored by M McCabe, G Waqa, A Dev, T Cama, Boyd Swinburn
Objectives This study investigated cultural values related to body image and eating practices in Western and non-Western societies.

Design and Methods In total, 628 Fijian, 463 Indo-Fijian, 598 Tongan, and 534 Australian adolescents completed measures of cultural values and religious influences in relation to the ideal body and eating practices.

Results Fijian and Tongan adolescents were more likely to value a large body. Religious influences were most strongly associated with eating practices for Fijians, Indo-Fijians, and Tongans.

Conclusions The findings support the role of religion in transmitting cultural values regarding eating practices in Pacific Island communities.

Statement of contribution
What is already known on this subject? Previous research has demonstrated that sociocultural factors shape body image and eating behaviours. Most of this research has been conducted in Western countries.

What does this study add? The current study identifies the role of cultural values and religious influences on body image and eating behaviours in a number of different cultural groups. This is the first study to use the same methodology to explore these relationships across Western and Pacific Island communities.

History

Journal

British journal of health psychology

Volume

18

Issue

2

Pagination

383 - 394

Publisher

John Wiley & Sons

Location

Chichester, England

ISSN

1359-107X

eISSN

2044-8287

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article