Body weight concern among female university students in five Arab countries – a preliminary cross-cultural study
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Arab Center for Nutrition, Manama, Bahrain
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2015;22(2):349–352
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.

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.

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.

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