Secular Trend of Self-Concept in the Context of Childhood Obesity-Data from the CHILT III Programme, Cologne

Lisa Grünberg, Nina Eisenburger, Nina Ferrari, David Friesen, Fabiola Haas, Marlen Klaudius, Lisa Schmidt, Christine Joisten

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Juvenile obesity is associated with a lower self-concept. Given the continued prevalence of obesity, we examined the secular trend of body mass index standard deviation score (BMI-SDS) and self-concept in participants of a German weight management programme (n = 242, 53.3% female, mean age 12.5 ± 2.1 years, mean BMI-SDS 2.45 ± 0.46) over a period of 15 years. Anthropometric data, physical fitness (watt/kg), and demographic data were assessed. The years 2005 to 2020 were grouped into six sections containing a mean of n = 40 participants. The questionnaire for the assessment of self and competence in children (FSK-K) was used to assess the following domains: "scholastic competence", "social competence", "physical appearance", "global self-worth", and "behavioural conduct". No significant between-group differences in self-assessment across self-concept domains were found. In all time periods, heavier children assigned the lowest rating to physical appearance. Social competence increased with higher physical fitness. Even though no negative trend in the self-concept of children with obesity was found in this cohort, the findings confirmed an association between juvenile overweight/obesity and lower physical self-concept, and between a better social competence and increasing physical fitness. Accompanying psychosocial care, therefore, rightly remains an important pillar of obesity therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127
JournalChildren (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 07.01.2023


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