Adolescents’ perception of their weight is a strong factor in shaping dietary habits and weight control and management. Among non-overweight and overweight adolescents, both overestimation and underestimation of weight status are associated with harmful effects. This study aimed to examine the relationship between perceived weight and attitude toward eating disorders among adolescent girls living in Karaj, Iran.
Materials and Methods
Involving a two-stage random sampling, this cross-sectional study was conducted on a total of 537 high school girls 14-18 years of age living in Karaj. The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) was employed to screen for attitude toward eating disorders. Also, anthropometric measurements (weight and height), perceived and the ideal weights of the participants were assessed.
The average age of girls participating in the study was 16.12±1.20. According to the results, 70% of girls had normal body mass index. It was found that the ideal weight of 55% of the girls in the normal body mass index group fell under the lower than normal boundary. Moreover, the prevalence of eating disorders was estimated to be 23.6%. The attitude toward eating disorder was significantly correlated with body mass index of participants and their self-concept (P<0.05).
The results showed that girl’s adolescent with normal BMI have tendency to the lower weight. Their opinion about ideal weight fall them to the underweight group. Concerns about lean and bony body require desirable planning and weight management for adolescent girls.