Risk of disordered eating attitudes among adolescents in seven Arab countries by gender and obesity: a cross-cultural study



Musaiger AO, Al-Mannai M, Tayyem R, Al-Lalla O, Ali EYA, Kalam F, Benhamed MM, Saghir S, Halahleh I, Djoudi Z, Chirane M.


Appetite. 2013 Jan;60(1):162-167. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.10.012. Epub 2012 Oct 22.


The objectives were to discover the prevalence of disordered eating attitudes (EAs) among adolescent males and females, and the association of obesity with EA in seven Arab countries. A multistage stratified sampling technique was used to select secondary students aged 15-18 years from cities in Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Palestine, Syria and Sharijah Emirate (United Arab Emirates). The total sample was 4698 (2240 males and 2458 females). The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) was used to measure those at risk of disordered EA. Obesity was calculated according to the International Obesity Taskforce criteria. Participants were grouped into two categories, non-obese and obese (overweight and obese). The risk of disordered EA was twice as high among females as in males in Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Syria. Kuwaiti adolescents (males and females) showed higher prevalence of disordered EA than their counterparts in other countries. The risk of disordered EA among obese adolescents was two to three times higher than that of non-obese adolescents, in both genders. Excepting Kuwaiti females and Palestinian males. The association of obesity with disordered EA was statistically significant. This study highlighted the magnitude of the risk of disordered eating attitudes among both male and female adolescents in Arab countries and identified the need for programmes to prevent and control these disorders in the Arab region. CI – Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Link/DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.10.012