Perception of body size and dissatisfaction in children aged 3 to 6: a systematic review

María-Pilar León, Irene González-Martí, Juan-Gregorio Fernández-Bustos, Onofre Contreras


perception and dissatisfaction.  Though most research studies focus on adolescence and adulthood, dissatisfaction problems are manifesting themselves at increasingly early ages.  The aim of this study was, therefore, to analyse the most significant findings on body dissatisfaction and body-size perception among children aged 3 to 6 (second cycle of pre-school education).  To this end the Medline, SportDiscus, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Dialnet, ProQuest and EBSCO databases were used, and from which a total of 22 studies were selected in accordance with exclusion criteria such as language, peer review and the objective measurement of the body mass index (BMI) of children.  In terms of levels of dissatisfaction, results vary widely, making it impossible to draw sound conclusions on the nature and prevalence of this variable at these ages.  The main reasons for this include the type of instrument used and the difficulties children had in perceiving their bodies correctly.


body image, pre-school education, body dissatisfaction, body perception, children.

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