BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Body weight concern among female university students in five Arab countries – a preliminary cross-cultural study
 
More details
Hide details
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.

 
REFERENCES (28)
1.
Yusuf S, Hawken S, Ounpuu S, et al. Obesity and the risk of myocardial infarction in 27,000 participants from 52 countries: a case-control study. Lancet. 2005; 366: 1640–1649.
 
2.
Neumark-Sztainer D, Wall M, Guo J, Story M, Haines J, Eisenberg M. Obesity, disordered eating, and eating disorders in a longitudinal study of adolescents: How do dieters fare 5 years later. Journal of American Diet Association. 2006; 106: 559–568.
 
3.
Mond J, Berg PVD, Boutelle K, Hannan P, Neumark-Sztainer D. Obesity, Body Dissatisfaction, and Emotional Well-Being in Early and Late Adolescence: Findings From the Project EAT Study. J Adolescent Health.2011; 48: 373–378.
 
4.
Calzo JP, Sonneville KR, Haines J,Blood EA, Field AE,Austin SB.The Development of Associations Among Body Mass Index, Body Dissatisfaction, and Weight and Shape Concern in Adolescent Boys and Girls. J Adolescent Health.2012; 51: 517–523.
 
5.
Sonneville KR, Calzo JP, Horton NJ, Hainers J, Austin SB, Field AE. Body satisfaction, weight gain and binge eating among overweight adolescent girls. International J Obesity. 2012; 36: 944–949.
 
6.
Madanat H, Lindsay R, Hawks SR, Ding D. A comparative study of the culture of thinness and nutrition transition in university females in four countries. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011; 20: 102–108.
 
7.
Eapen V, Mobrouk AA, Bin-Othman S. Disordered eating attitudes and symptomatology among adolescent girls in the United Arab Emirates. Eating Behaviors. 2006; 7: 53–60.
 
8.
Nasser M. Comparative study of the prevalence of abnormal eating attitudes among Arab female students of both London and Cairo Universities. Psychological Medicine. 1986; 16: 612–625.
 
9.
Rasheed P. Perception of body weight and self-reported eating and exercise behaviour among obese and non-obese women in Saudi Arabia. Public Health. 1998; 112: 409–414.
 
10.
Afifi-Soweid RA, Ktelig MBN, Schediac-Rizkallah MC. Preoccupation with weight and disordered eating behaviors of entering students at a University in Lebanon. The International Journal of Eating Disorders 2002; 32: 52–57.
 
11.
Al-Adawi S, Dorvlo ASS, Burke DT, Al-Bahlani S, Martin RG, Al- Ismaily S. Presence and severity of anorexia and bulimia among male and female Omani and non-Omani adolescents. Journal of American Academy of child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2002; 41: 1124–1130.
 
12.
Mousa TY, Al-Domi HA, Mashal RH, Jibri MA. Eating disturbances among adolescent school girls in Jordan. Appetite 2010; 54: 196–201.
 
13.
Ricciardelli LA, McCabe MP, Bonfield S. Body image and body change methods in adolescent boys: Role of parents, friends and the media. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2000; 49: 189–197.
 
14.
Groesz LM, Levine MP, Musned SK. The experimental presentation of thin media images on body dissatisfaction: A meta-analytic review. The International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2002; 31: 1–16.
 
15.
Musaiger AO, Al-Mannai M. Role of obesity and media in body weight concern among female university students in Kuwait. Eat Behav. 2013; 14(2): 229–232.
 
16.
Field AE, Cheung L, Wolf AM, Herzog DB, Gortmaker SL, Colditz GA. Exposure to the mass media and weight concern among girls. Pediatrics. 1999; 103: 1–5.
 
17.
Al-Sabbah H, Vereecken C, Abdeen Z, Coast E, Maes L. Association of overweight and weight dissatisfaction among Palestinian adolescents: Findings from the national study of Palestinian schoolchildren (HBSCWBG2004). J Hum Nutr Diet. 2008; 32: 40–49.
 
18.
Connor-Greene PA. Gender differences in body weight perception and weight loss strategies of college students. Women Health 1988; 14: 27–42.
 
19.
Patton GC, Selzer R, Cofley C, Carlin JB, Wolfe R. Onset of adolescent eating disorders: Population based cohort study over 3 years. BMJ. 1999; 318: 765–768.
 
20.
Ball K, Crawford D. The role of socio-cultural factors in the obesity epidemic. In Obesity Epidemiology: from Aetiology to Public Health Edited by Crawford et al, Oxford University Press, New York, pp.105– 118.
 
21.
Nicholas SD, Ragbir KK, Dalrymple N. Body image perception and the risk of unhealthy behaviours among university students: West Indian Med J. 2009; 98: 465–471.
 
22.
Field AE, Austin SB, Taylor CB, Malspeis S, Rosner B, Rockelt HR, Gilman MW, Colditz GA. Relation between dieting and weight change among preadolescents and adolescents. Pediatr. 2003; 112: 900–906.
 
23.
Musaiger AO. Overweight and obesity in eastern Mediterranean region: Prevalence and possible causes. J Obesity. 2011; ID 407237.
 
24.
Madanat HN, Brown RB, Hawks SR. The impact of body mass index and Western advertising and media on eating style, body image and nutrition transition among Jordanian women. Public Health Nutr. 2007; 10: 1039–1046.
 
25.
Mellor D, McCabe M, Ricciardelli L, Merino ME. Body dissatisfaction and body change behaviors in Chile: the role of socio-cultural factors. Body Image. 2001; 5: 205–215.
 
26.
Ragab S. Media massages and women’s body perception in Egypt. 2007. http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/... (access: 2012.05.25).
 
27.
Musaiger AO, Al-Mannai M, Tayyem R, Al-Lalla O, Ali EY, Kalam F, Benhamed MM, Saghir S, Halahleh I, Djoudi Z, Chirane M. Perceived barriers to healthy eating and physical activity among adolescents in seven Arab countries: a cross-cultural study. Scientific World Journal. 2013; 14:232164. doi: 10.1155/2013/232164.
 
28.
Musaiger AO, Al-Roomi K, Bader Z.Social, dietary and lifestyle factors associated with obesity among Bahraini adolescents. Appetite 2014;73:197–204.
 
eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966