Risk of eating disorders and its association with expectations of thinness, body satisfaction and body mass index in Turkish university students: A cross-sectional study Eating Disorders, Expectations of Thinness, and Body Satisfaction

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Ahmet Murat Günal https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9109-1080
Kevser Karlı https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8679-5542
Hande Öngün Yılmaz https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3497-567X


Eating disorders, body mass index, body satisfaction, thinness expectation


Background and aim: Eating disorders are a diagnostic group characterized by the desire to be thin, excessive fear of obesity, and severely impaired body satisfaction. This study aimed to determine university students' risk of eating disorders and their relationship with the expectation of thinness, body satisfaction, and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted with 535 (Female: 478, Male: 57) participants studying at the faculty of health sciences of two universities. Students were randomly selected according to their university, department, and gender using a stratified sampling method. Data were collected using the information form, Eating Attitude Test Short Form (EAT-26), Interpersonal Outcome Expectancies for Thinness (IOET), and  Body Satisfaction Scale (BAS).

Results: Participants' mean EAT-26 scores were 10.97 (SD=9.99), IOET-TR scores 10.97 (SD=9.99), BAS scores 35.08 (SD=7.47). It was found a positive correlation between EAT-26 and IOET-TR (r=0.141, p=0.001); negative correlation between EAT-26 and BAS (r=-0.228, p<0.001). While there is no significant relationship between BMI, EAT-26, and IOET-TR; a negative relationship was found between BMI and BAS (r=-0.241, p<0.001).

Conclusions: This study showed participants at risk of eating disorders, have expectations of thinness, and decreased body satisfaction. Also, it is found that overweight and obese people are more prone to eating disorders. The level of knowledge and awareness of students should be increased by providing various training with a multidisciplinary approach.

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