Background: Body-related teasing is known to be
linked to body dissatisfaction and dieting behavior in adolescents. However,
little is known about it in non-Western countries. This study aims to examine
the prevalence of body-related teasing among Japanese adolescents and its
connection to weight status, body image, and dieting behavior to consider
implications for public health.
Methods: The design of this study is a cross-sectional study. An
anonymous self-administrated survey was conducted with 1172 junior high school
students in Higashi-Osaka City in Osaka Prefecture in Japan. The sampling method
was non-random design. The survey items included self-reported height and
weight, history and source of teasing, body image perception, and dieting
behavior. A chi-square test and logistic regression analysis were used to
examine the associations.
Results: A history of teasing was reported by 16.4% of boys and
32.5% of girls (P < 0.001, effect size = 0.19). The most common
answer for source of teasing was friends (84.7% of boys’ teasing, 67.1% of
girls’ teasing, P = 0.003, effect size = 0.19). Students who were
overweight, of an upper-normal weight status, and perceived themselves as "fat"
were at a greater risk of being teased. Additionally, students with a history
of teasing were significantly likelier to display dieting behavior (odds ratios
with confidence intervals: boys 4.06 [2.08–7.93], girls 2.40 [1.53– 3.75]).
Conclusion: Body-related teasing has a significant association with
body image and dieting behavior in Japanese adolescents. A school-based
education should be provided to reduce body-related teasing.