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Development and validation of the body shape scale (BOSHAS) for assessing body shape perception in African populations

Cohen, E.
Ndao, A.
Bernard, J. Y.
Gueye, A.
Duboz, P.
Macia, E.
Boëtsch, G.
Pasquet, P.
Holdsworth, M.
Gradidge, P.J.-L.
Background: As a consequence of 'Western' acculturation, eating disorders and body image disturbances, such as fatness phobia and body dysmorphic disorders towards musculature and body shape, are emerging in Africa, with young people the most affected. It is therefore important to accurately assess perceptions of body shape. However, the existing body image assessment scales lack sufficient accuracy and validity testing to compare body shape perception across different African populations. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate the Body Shape Scale (BOSHAS) to evaluate body shape perceptions related body image disorders in African populations. Methods: To develop the BOSHAS, anthropometric measures of 80 Cameroonians and 81 Senegalese (both sexes included; 40.1% females overall) were taken for three body shape criteria: somatotype components, body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio. Subjects were selected to cover a wide variability in body shape and were photographed in full face and profile positions. To validate the BOSHAS, the scale was administered twice (2 weeks apart) to 106 participants (aged 31.2 ± 12.6 years) to assess its reliability. In addition, a questionnaire measuring different aspects of body shape (e.g. musculature) was also administered (n = 597; aged 36.7 ± 15.6 years) to assess its convergent validity. Results: The BOSHAS includes two sex-specific subscales of 10 photographs each. Most participants were able to repeat their BOSHAS preference order. Test-retest reliability was also consistent in estimating Current Body Shape (CBS), Desired Body Shape and Ideal Body Shape for participants and their partners. CBS was correlated with BMI, and different BOSHAS indices were consistent with declarations obtained by questionnaire. Conclusions: The BOSHAS is the first sex-specific scale of real African models photographed in face and profile, including large body shape variability. The validation protocol showed good validity and reliability for evaluating body shape perceptions and dissatisfaction of Africans.
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Africa,African ancestry,Body image scale,Body shape perception,Validation
Cohen E, Ndao A, Bernard JY, Gueye A, Duboz P, Macia E, Boëtsch G, Pasquet P, Holdsworth M, Gradidge PJ. Development and validation of the body shape scale (BOSHAS) for assessing body shape perception in African populations. BMC Public Health. 2020 Oct 16;20(1):1562. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-09654-w.
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