Prevalence of Eating Disorders among Students of Health Science Colleges in Majamaah University, Saudi Arabia


  • Shamshad Begum Loni, Waqas Sami, Zeinab A. Abd-Elhaleem, Madania Mohammed Nore Idrees Ejiel, Ghazali Abdel Gadir Mohammed Abdel Gadir, Mohammad Owais Khan



Background: Due to internationalization Arab nations have witnessed significant lifestyle changes leading to perceptions of body dissatisfaction among young Arabs.

Objectives: Owing to the rise in prevalence of EDs and behaviors among the youth, the study was taken up to assess the prevalence of EDs and determine the correlation between EDs and BMI among health science students at Majmaah University, KSA.

Brief methods: EAT-26 standardized self-reported questionnaires was used. BMI calculated by Quetelet index. The data from the sampling figure was collected using systematic random sampling. A general medical examination and brief personal, family, and prior histories were conducted.

Results: An observational descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among 90 females and 35 males aged 18-25 yrs. Mean ± SD BMI was 25.6±5.1(males) and 22.9±4.9(females).Of the total  18.4% (under wt), 63.4% (normal wt), 26.8% (ow), and 18.4% (obese). Positive EAT-26 was observed in 35.2% with Mean±SD 29.05±8.7t (123) = 14.9 p<.00001. Highest proportion 56% participants (60% males and 54.4% females) was observed for the behavior "Exercise 60 minutes per day" while least was observed with weight loss of ≥9 Kgs in last six months 8% (5.7% male and 8.9% female).Our study revealed compared to males, females are more “conscious of calorie content of the food they eat” (p =.0013), and “gave too much time and thought to food” (p =.02).Our results though on higher side are consistent with other studies across the Arab countries. Our research supports that BMI is a significant indicator of EDs.

Conclusion: Most adults have physical and psychological issues due to unhealthy food consumption and opting for ideal body. Early diagnosis and prevention of ED complications are essential by conducting programs to encourage healthy eating habits and behaviors.