Body image dissatisfaction among food-related degree students

Magdalena Kolka, Julie Abayomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract


Purpose
– Current western society promotes a strong desirability to be thin. The majority of young females are unhappy with their body shape and wish to be thinner. This can lead to many health problems such as addictive exercising, depression and disordered eating. It is also established that certain groups tend to be more prone to body image dissatisfaction (BID) than others. The purpose of this paper is to determine if there was a high prevalence of BID and/or disordered eating among students studying a food‐related degree course.

Design/methodology/approach
– Students were recruited via e‐mail. Subjects were weighed, measured and BMI calculated. A software package Anamorphic Micro was used to measure BID and a validated questionnaire “BITE” assessed for disordered eating.

Findings
– Nutrition students had a low mean BMI of 21.8 kg/m2. Despite this, the majority (90 per cent) were dissatisfied with their body; with 83 per cent wishing to be thinner and 60 per cent overestimating their body size. The BITE questionnaire revealed that 30 per cent scored for disordered eating and 10 per cent scored for Bulimia Nervosa.

Originality/value
– This paper confirms that students studying food‐related degree courses are at greater risk of developing eating disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition and Food Science
Volume42
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Keywords

  • women
  • nutrition
  • diet
  • eating disorders

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