The Relationship between Body Mass Index and Eating Disorder Risk and Intuitive Eating among Young Adults

Document Type : Original Article


Nutrition and Dietetics, Health Science Faculty, Gumushane University, Turkey


Background: Obesity is a serious health problem that threatens public health. There are limited researches exploring the relationship between obesity and eating disorder risk and intuitive eating. The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of eating disorder risk and obesity, and identify the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and eating disorder risk and intuitive eating among young adults.
Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled 1216 young adults. The data were obtained through a questionnaire consisted of three sections of socio-demographic information in the first part, Intuitive Eating Scale-2 (IES-2) in second part and Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) in third part. Weight, height, and BMI of participants were also measured by
Results: The overall overweight/obesity rate of the participants was 16% (male=25.9%; female=10.9%). The rate of eating disorders risk was 24.3% in general (male=21.5%; female=25.4%). Overweight/obese had higher eating disorders risk than normal and underweight (26.7%, 23.8%, 21.6%, respectively). IES-2 score of underweight was significantly higher than overweight/obese (3.33±0.35, 3.20±0.37, respectively).
Conclusion: This is the first study to examine the relationship between BMI and EAT-26 subscale showing that BMI was positively correlated with EAT-26 and negatively was correlated with IES-2 score. Therefore, BMI may be affected by eating behaviors and intuitive eating. Also, intuitive eating can be a new method of eating, and weight control and management.