Prevalence of disordered eating attitudes among adolescent girls in Arar City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Waseem Fatima *
Leena M. Ahmad
(*) Corresponding Author:
Waseem Fatima |


Eating disorders (ED) are one of the most common psychiatric problems faced by todays adolescent girls where the attitude towards weight and shape as well as their perception of body shape are disturbed. The aim of the paper is to assess the prevalence and associated factors of disordered eating attitudes among adolescent girls of Arar city, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is a cross-sectional survey design in which 314 adolescents females (age: 15-19 years) were selected from four schools of Arar city, KSA. Subjects were asked to fill pre-tested questionnaire about socioeconomic status, eating habits and Eating attitude test 26 (EAT 26), there height and weight were measured and BMI was calculated. Disturbed eating behaviors (EAT-26>20) was found in 25.47% participants. The prevalence of disordered eating was more in overweight and obese than normal weight. Vegetarian girls had higher EAT 26 score than non - vegetarian and significant difference was found in total EAT 26 score and subgroup namely oral control and dieting score (P<0.01) but non-significant difference was found between Saudi and non-Saudi adolescent girls in different BMI ranges. Eating disorders prevalent in adolescent girls and were strongly associated with weight status and eating habits. Future prospective and experimental studies are warranted to advance our understanding of the risk factors to enable better preventive program planning.

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