Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 1815–1825 | Cite as

Body Image Dissatisfaction, Obesity and Their Associations with Breastfeeding in Mexican Women, a Cross-Sectional Study

  • Galya BigmanEmail author
  • Anna V. Wilkinson
  • Nuria Homedes
  • Adriana Pérez


Introduction In Mexico the breastfeeding rate is low and the obesity rate is high. Body image concerns, particularly prevalent in obese women, are associated with low breastfeeding rate; however, this association has never been examined in Mexican women. To fill this need, we examined the association between body image dissatisfaction (BID) and breastfeeding across levels of maternal weight status in Mexican women. Methods A cross-sectional study was used, utilizing data from the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT) for 2012. The breastfeeding (Never or breastfed less than 30 days, Still breastfeeding, Ever breastfed) of the last child (age ≤ 3 years), BID (Stunkard Figure Rating Scale), anthropometric (Body Mass Index, BMI), and associated characteristics were collected. Weighted-multinomial logistic regression models were utilized to examine the adjusted association between BID and breastfeeding and the effect modification of maternal weight status. Results Overall, 2422 women aged 20–49 years met the eligibility criteria. Of these, 247 (10.8%) had never breastfed or breastfed less than 30 days, 826 (32%) were still breastfeeding, and 1349 (57.2%) had breastfed. A total of 38.2% were overweight (25 ≤ BMI < 30 kg m2) and 26.2% were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg m2). In the adjusted model, while stratifying by maternal weight status levels, a greater BID was associated with a lower odds of sill breastfeeding (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.45–0.75) and having breastfed (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.50–0.83) only among women with BMI ≥ 30 kg m2. Discussion The results highlight the potential relationship between body image concerns and breastfeeding in Mexican women with obesity. However, the causality of such relationship needs further investigation, ideally using a longitudinal study design.


Breastfeeding Body image dissatisfaction Obesity Mexican women 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences, School of Public HealthThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonAustinUSA
  2. 2.Management Policy and Community Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of TexasEl PasoUSA
  3. 3.Biostatistics and Data Science, School of Public HealthThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonAustinUSA

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