Body weight misperception among Chinese international students in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jafri, Kashish (2023) Body weight misperception among Chinese international students in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The phenomenon of BWM (body weight misperceptions) has been linked to a range of health risks. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak may have exacerbated this issue, leading to detrimental weight fluctuations and an increased susceptibility to BWM. This study investigates BWM and its association with sociodemographic and lifestyle behaviors factors and self-perceived mental, physical, and overall health among Chinese international students in Canada during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2021. Data were collected from 296 eligible study participants through targeted sampling. Bivariate descriptive analyses and multivariate binary logistic regression analyses (BLR) were used. The study found that (29.1%) had overweight and (7.9%) had underweight misperceptions among Chinese international students in Canada. The study found that females had a higher likelihood of reporting overweight misperceptions (OR=3.18, CI=1.39-7.24), while financial dissatisfaction and lifestyle behaviors such as watching television were associated with a higher risk of overweight misperception (OR = 2.84, 95% CI = 1.39-5.82 and OR = 1.92, 95% CI = 1.09– 3.34, respectively). On the other hand, exercise was associated with a lower risk of overweight misperception (OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.32-0.98). This study also found that overweight misperception have a lower likelihood of having poor overall health (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.39- 0.95), but no significant association with mental health (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 0.86-2.11), or physical health (OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 0.75-1.77). However, underweight misperception was associated with a higher likelihood of poor overall health (OR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.03-2.38), but no significant association was found with self-reported physical health (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 0.78- 1.76) and mental health (OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.67-1.56). In conclusion, the study highlights that overweight misperceptions are prevalent among Chinese international students in Canada, particularly among female and those who are financially dissatisfied and watch television. Exercise was found to lower the risk of overweight misperception. Underweight misperception was associated with poor overall health. The study highlights the need for targeted interventions to promote healthy lifestyles and well-being, and further research is required to identify additional factors and develop effective interventions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 16273
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 69-85)
Keywords: COVID-19, BWM (body weight misperception), self-perceived overall health, self-perceived mental health, self-perceived physical health, sociodemographic factors, lifestyles behaviors and Chinese international students
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of > Community Health
Date: October 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Medical Subject Heading: COVID-19--Canada; Students--psychology--Canada; Body Weight--ethnology --Canada; Life Style--ethnology--Canada; Healthy Lifestyle--Canada; East Asian People--Canada

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