Assessing the Relationship between Weight-controlling Behaviors and Eating Attitude Disorders with Dietary Intake in Female Adolescents

Document Type : Original Article


1 Shiraz Health Center, Martyrs Valfajr, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Nutrition Research Committee, Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Adolescents pay more attention to their appearance and body. Irregular nutritional patterns, eating certain types of food, and consuming more protein-containing food are more common in this age group. Considering the importance of this issue and lack of adequate studies in Iran, especially in Fars province, we aimed to assess the relationship between weight-controlling attitudes and eating disorders with dietary intake in female adolescents.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was done on 600 female students aged 14-17 years from the four educational districts of Shiraz, southern Iran, during 2011-2012 using the stratified random sampling method. Data were collected using three questionnaires as follows: demographic data questionnaire, Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) to assess eating attitude disorders in students, and the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Data were analyzed using SPSS software, version 13 and the NUT 4 software.
Results: Six (1%) EAT-26 questionnaire were omitted from analysis for being incomplete. Also, 556, 446, and 491 questionnaires were evaluated in meat, bread, and fat groups, respectively; and the rest were omitted because of not being complete. The mean±SD age of the students was 15.8±0.9 years. According to the EAT-26, we found that 80.1% of the students were at risk of eating attitude disorders (CI=95%, 76.9-83.3). By comparing the results of the FFQ and the EAT-26 and weight controlling behaviors, we found that consumption of meat and fat was significantly higher in students with eating attitude disorder (P=0.027 and P=0.003 respectively). Bread intake was significantly higher in the groups with no disorder (P=0.08). (This P value is not significant.) Moreover, the mean consumption of sandwiches was higher in students with eating attitude disorders (P=0.002).
Conclusion: Considering the high prevalence of eating attitude disorders in our study, assessing the underlying reasons and implementing preventive programs is of utmost importance.