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Body weight concern among female university students in five Arab countries – a preliminary cross-cultural study

 
1
Arab Center for Nutrition, Manama, Bahrain
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(2):349–352
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Objective:
The aim of this study was to explore some body weight concerns among females at university in five Arab countries.

Material and Methods:
The sample comprised 1,134 females aged 17–32 from universities in five Arab countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Syria. A pretested questionnaire was used to determine the aspects of body weight concern.

Results:
Approximately 32% – 39% of females were dissatisfied with their weight, 17% – 31% wanted their body shape to be similar to Western fashion models, and 5% – 16% believed that men preferred plump women. Of the females, 22–37% had dieted to lose weight during the six months prior to the study, and 8–15% performed exercises to improve body shape most of the time. The differences in body weight concerns were statistically significant between countries.

Conclusions:
Body weight concern is relatively highly prevalent among young Arab women; however the prevalence varied between countries, mainly due to differences in socio-cultural background between countries.

eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966