Body Image Disturbance, Weight Perception and Body Mass Index of Female College Students in Delhi having Normal and Disordered Eating Behaviours


Affiliations

  • Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, Department of Food and Nutrition, New Delhi, 110016, India
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University, School of Continuing Education, New Delhi, 110068, India

Abstract

Body image and self-perception about weight, irrespective of their actual body mass index, may predispose young females to disordered eating behaviour. A study was conducted to determine body image disturbance, weight perception and body mass index among female college students in Delhi having normal and disordered eating behaviours. The study sample comprised 734 female under-graduate students between 18-21 years from women’s colleges of Delhi University. An interview-cum-questionnaire schedule was used to assess the general profile of subjects and perceptions about their body weight. Adapted Eating Attitudes Test (EAT)-26 and Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ)-8c was used to determine disordered eating behaviour and body image disturbance among the subjects respectively. Body Mass Index of the subjects was also computed. Findings revealed a significant difference in self-perception about body weight among subjects showing normal and disordered eating behaviours. Higher percentage of subjects from disordered eating group perceived themselves to be either overweight or obese as compared to subjects from normal eating behaviour group.Significantly higher BSQ-8c scores and Body Mass Index were also observed among subjects having disordered eating behaviour. The study indicated that poor body image, self-perception about body weight being high as well as high body mass index played a significant role in occurrence of disordered eating behaviour among female college students in Delhi.The study depicted the urgent need to have appropriate health and nutrition education programmes for female college students to improve their perceptions about body shape and weight to further prevent the occurrence of disordered eating behaviour among them and make them less vulnerable to consequent nutritional problems.

Keywords

Body image, body mass index, disordered eating behaviour, female college students, weight perception

Subject Collection

Delhi; India

Subject Discipline

Food and Nutrition

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