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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors Among High-school Girls in Al-Madinah City, Saudi Arabia

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 5 ]


Awad M. Al-Qahtani* and Lamees M. Al-Harbi   Pages 709 - 717 ( 9 )


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors among high-school girls in Al-Madinah City, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in Al-Madinah city in 2014-15. A multi- stage random sampling technique was adopted to include female students of government secondary schools. The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) and socio-economical questionnaires were used in the study for assessing the prevalence of disordered eating. All data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20.

Results: Overweight and obesity were reported among 11.2% and 5.6% of them, respectively, whereas 31.3% of the participants were underweight. The overall prevalence of disordered eating attitudes among female students was 42.5%. This rate was significantly higher among younger (≤16 years old) and those of the first scholastic level than others. The rate of disordered eating attitude was reported at a higher rate among obese students (59.1%) than underweight (41.5%) and normal students (42.4%). The commonest reported disordered eating behavior was self-reported binge eating behaviour (25.2%), followed by self-induced vomiting (8.7%) and the use of laxatives/ diuretics to control weight (6.1%).

Conclusion: The findings show a high prevalence of disordered eating attitude among high school female students in Al-Madinah city. Younger girls and those of the first scholastic level showed higher disordered eating attitude.


Adolescents, binge eating behavior, body weight, disordered eating attitude, obesity, secondary school students.


Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Najran University, Najran, Family Medicine, Post-graduate Studies of Family Medicine Program in Al-Madinah, Ministry of Health, Al-Madinah

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