Do aerobic fitness and self-reported fitness in adolescence differently predict body image in young adulthood? An eight year follow-up study
Abstract Aim To study whether fitness level in adolescence predicts body image in young adulthood. Methods Longitudinal study in which n = 385 participants were measured at age 15 and n = 201 at age 23. Fitness was assessed both objectively and subjectively. Body image was evaluated with the Offer Self- Image Questionnaire. Cross-lagged structural equation model was used to study whether fitness at age 15 predicted body image at age 23, covariates included sex, body mass index, physical activity, and socioeconomic status. Results Aerobic fitness at age 15 was the strongest predictor (β = 0.372; p Conclusion Objectively measured fitness in adolescence is an independent predictor of body image in young adulthood, whereas self-reported fitness is not. Strong fitness in adolescence is important for a healthy body image later in life.