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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 ]

Author(s):

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

Abstract:


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.

Keywords:

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

Affiliation:

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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