Disordered eating attitudes: demographic and clinico-anthropometric correlates among a sample of Nigerian students
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OBJECTIVES: We set out in this study to determine the demographic and clinico-anthropometric correlates of disordered eating attitudes among undergraduate students of two higher institutions in Lagos, Nigeria. METHODS: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 1,054 participants after written informed consent. A socio-demographic questionnaire, the Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26) and 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) were administered to the participants. In addition, their blood pressure, height and weight were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. RESULTS: The study participants comprised of 561(55.6%) males with median age of 21.4 years. The mean (±SD) score on EAT-26 was 11.52(±8.54), and 16% of all the respondents were categorized as having disordered eating attitude. A significant relationship was found between disordered eating attitude and age (p= 0.027), gender (p= <0.001), institution of study (p= 0.005), systolic blood pressure (p=0.019), BMI (p= 0.027) and psychological distress (p=0.005). CONCLUSION: Our study observed disordered eating attitude to be prevalent among young adults, and demographic along with clinico-anthropometric factors constituted associated factors. Our findings strengthen the basis to incorporate health awareness programs aimed at improving nutrition and eating behavior among the young adult population. Future research is needed.
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