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Health Promot Perspect. 2011 Jul 25;1(1):41-9. doi: 10.5681/hpp.2011.003. eCollection 2011.

Disordered Eating Attitudes and Their Correlates among Iranian High School Girls.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Disordered eating attitudes are contributing factors to the development of eating disorders. Adolescent girls are at high risk for eating diseases. In Iran, there is few data on the subject, especially in Azarian adolescent girls, so we did this study for assessing disordered eating attitudes and their correlates among Iranian Azarbaijani high school girls.

METHODS:

In a cross-sectional study, 1887 high school girls were selected. Eating Attitude Test-26 (EAT-26) and socio economical questionnaires were used. The EAT-26 score of 20 or higher defined as disordered eating attitudes. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Program for Social Sciences, by using from descriptive and analytical statistics.

RESULTS:

Reliability and validity of the translated EAT-26 were 0.80, 0.76, respectively. In studied subjects, mean (SD) of EAT-26 was 11.71(8.48). Totally, 16.7% (C.I with 95%: 15.1- 18.3%) of students had disordered eating attitudes. About half of the participants were unhappy with their body weight and considered themselves as obese. Mean of EAT-26 was higher in this group. Groups, who intent to weight loss, were smoker, and who had age of menarche less than 11 years, also had higher EAT-26 scores. Parent's literacy or job, birth order, family size or income and house ownership had not any significant effect on EAT-26 score.

CONCLUSIONS:

Persian version of EAT-26 has good reliability and validity for assessing disordered eating attitudes in Azarian girl adolescents. Prevalence of disordered eating attitudes among Azarian adolescent girls are in the range of some studies, but are less than Arabian countries, and some European ones. In adolescent girls, body weight dissatisfaction, smoking and early menarche has important role in eating attitudes.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Body weight; Eating attitudes; Female; Self-perception

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