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Objective: To quantify the prevalence of eating disorders and factors associated with eating disorders among undergraduate students in Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai Campus.
Material and Methods: This study was a cross sectional descriptive study using random sampling by proportionate accidental sampling. We used the Thai Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) for collecting information about eating attitudes. Participants who had scores equal or higher than 12 (≥12) were assumed to have atypical eating attitudes and behaviors. We used the R and R studio program to analyze information. Multivariate logistic regression was used for correlation analysis.
Results: In this study, we had completed questionnaires from 500 students (response rate 65.6%). The overall prevalence of atypical eating attitudes and behaviors in undergraduate students in Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai Campus was 37.2%. We found that overweight body mass index (BMI) (BMI 23.00-24.99 kg/m2) and obesity BMI (≥25.00 kg/m2) were significantly more prevalent in students with atypical eating attitudes and behaviors than normal BMI (18.50-22.99 kg/m2), with odds ratios of 3.3 [95% confidence interval (CI)=1.8-6.2] and 3.7 (95% CI=1.9-6.9), respectively. However, multivariate logistic regression revealed no associations between atypical eating attitudes and behaviors, sex, target weight, biological disease, psychological disease, current medication(s) or faculty. Atypical eating attitudes and behaviors were significantly associated only with body mass index BMI. The overweight and obese BMI groups had significantly increased risks of 3.3 and 3.7 times of atypical eating attitudes and behaviors compared to the normal group, with 95% CIs of 1.8-6.2 and 1.9-6.9, respectively.
Conclusion: From this study, overweight BMI and obesity BMI were significantly more prevalent in students with atypical eating attitudes and behaviors than normal BMI. BMI was the only factor significantly associated with atypical eating attitudes and behaviors.
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