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Eat Weight Disord. 2016 Dec;21(4):597-605. Epub 2016 Apr 23.

Eating disorders risk and its relation to self-esteem and body image in Iranian university students of medical sciences.

Author information

1
Student Research Committee, Faculty of Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Golgasht St, Tabriz, Iran. fnalireza@yahoo.com.
2
Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Health, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Diet Therapy, Nutrition Research Center, Faculty of Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
4
Tabriz Health Services Management Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
5
Department of Biochemistry and Diet Therapy, Faculty of Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES:

Eating disorders are rapidly increasing in young adults. But, a few studies have examined the risk of eating disorders and body image in university students of non-Western societies. The current study aimed to assess eating disorders risk in relation to body image and self-esteem among Iranian university students.

METHOD:

The participants were 430 students from Tabriz, between April and May 2015. The 26-item Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26), Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ) and Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Questionnaires were used. EAT-26 score of 20 or more was considered as eating disorders risk cutoff.

RESULTS:

Majority of the students (68 %) were females. The overall eating disorders risk was 9.5 % (7.5 and 10.5 % in men and women, respectively). Further, the prevalence of poor body image and low self-esteem was 34.2 and 16 %, respectively. Neither of the gender differences was statistically significant (p > 0.05). In simple logistic regression, there were significant associations between self-esteem, body image, parental education and eating disorders risk (p < 0.025). But, after adjustments for gender, age, Body Mass Index (BMI) and marital status, only self-esteem (OR = 0.37, 95 % = 0.16-0.87) and mother's education level (OR = 2.78, 95 % = 1.30-5.93) were predictors of eating disorders risk.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings revealed that low self-esteem and mother's higher education may increase eating disorders risk and the predictive role of body image possibly is by other mediators such as self-esteem. This warrants awareness improvement and developing appropriate interventions targeting self-esteem and self-respect of students.

KEYWORDS:

Body image; Body satisfaction; Eating attitude; Eating disorders risk; Iranian university students; Self-esteem; Women’s health; Young adults

PMID:
27107872
DOI:
10.1007/s40519-016-0283-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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