Risk of eating disorders and its association with expectations of thinness, body satisfaction and body mass index in Turkish university students: A cross-sectional study

Eating Disorders, Expectations of Thinness, and Body Satisfaction



Eating disorders, body mass index, body satisfaction, thinness expectation


Background and aim: Eating disorders are a diagnostic group characterized by the desire to be thin, excessive fear of obesity, and severely impaired body satisfaction. This study aimed to determine university students' risk of eating disorders and their relationship with the expectation of thinness, body satisfaction, and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted with 535 (Female: 478, Male: 57) participants studying at the faculty of health sciences of two universities. Students were randomly selected according to their university, department, and gender using a stratified sampling method. Data were collected using the information form, Eating Attitude Test Short Form (EAT-26), Interpersonal Outcome Expectancies for Thinness (IOET), and  Body Satisfaction Scale (BAS).

Results: Participants' mean EAT-26 scores were 10.97 (SD=9.99), IOET-TR scores 10.97 (SD=9.99), BAS scores 35.08 (SD=7.47). It was found a positive correlation between EAT-26 and IOET-TR (r=0.141, p=0.001); negative correlation between EAT-26 and BAS (r=-0.228, p<0.001). While there is no significant relationship between BMI, EAT-26, and IOET-TR; a negative relationship was found between BMI and BAS (r=-0.241, p<0.001).

Conclusions: This study showed participants at risk of eating disorders, have expectations of thinness, and decreased body satisfaction. Also, it is found that overweight and obese people are more prone to eating disorders. The level of knowledge and awareness of students should be increased by providing various training with a multidisciplinary approach.


American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5®), Fifth ed., Arlington: APA, 2013.

Hosseini SA, Padhy RK. Body Image Distortion. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL); 2021. PMID: 31536191.

Bakalım O, Taşdelen-Karçkay A. Body Appreciation Scale: Evaluation of the Factor Structure and Psychometric Properties among Male and Female Turkish University Students. Mersin University Journal of the Faculty of Education 2016; 12 (1): 410-422. doi: https://doi.org/10.17860/efd.38032

Ercan R. Lise öğrencilerinin beden memnuniyeti ve sosyolojik analizi. Zeitschrift für die Welt der Türken/Journal of World of Turks 2020; 12 (2): 141-154.

Radwan H, Hasan HA, Ismat H, Hakim H, Khalid H, Al-Fityani L, Mohammed R, Ayman A. Body Mass Index Perception, Body Image Dissatisfaction and Their Relations with Weight-Related Behaviors among University Students. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health 2019; 16 (9): 1541. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091541

Berengüí R, Castejón MÁ, Torregrosa MS. Body dissatisfaction, risk behaviors and eating disorders in university students. Revista Mexicana de Trastornos Alimentarios 2016; 7 (1): 1-8. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmta.2016.02.004

Galmiche M, Déchelotte P, Lambert G, Tavolacci MP. Prevalence of eating disorders over the 2000-2018 period: a systematic literature review. Am J Clin Nutr 2019; 109 (5): 1402-1413. doi: http://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy342

Body Mass Index – BMI, World Health Organization. Available at https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition/a-healthy-lifestyle/body-mass-index-bmi Accessed July 06, 2021.

Garner D, Olmsted M, Bohr Y, Garfinkel P. The Eating Attitudes Test: Psychometric features and clinical correlates. Psychological Medicine 1982; 12 (4): 871-878. doi: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291700049163

Li M, Chang, EC, Chang OD. Psychometric Properties of the Interpersonal Outcome Expectancies for Thinness (IOET) Scale: Evidence for Validity, Reliability, and Utility in the Study of Eating Disturbances in Females. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 2019; 38 (2): 160-179. doi: https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2019.38.2.160

Avalos L, Tylka TL, Wood-Barcalow N. The body appreciation scale: Development and psychometric evaluation. Body Image 2005; 2 (3): 285-297. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2005.06.002

Garner DM, Garfinkel PE. The Eating Attitudes Test: An index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Psychological Medicine 1979; 9 (2): 273-279. doi: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291700030762

Ergüney-Okumuş FE, Sertel-Berk HÖ. Yeme Tutum Testi Kısa Formunun (YTT-26) Üniversite Örnekleminde Türkçeye Uyarlanması ve Psikometrik Özelliklerinin Değerlendirilmesi. Psikoloji Çalışmaları 2019; 40 (1): 57-78. doi: https://doi.org/10.26650/SP2019-0039

Alim NE, Caliskan G, Gokustun KK, Akkus ZN. Validation of a Turkish version of the interpersonal outcome expectancies for thinness (IOET) scale in university students. Progress in Nutrition 2019; 21 (4): 1045-1051. doi: https://doi.org/10.23751/pn.v21i4.9042

Kartal FT, Aykut MK. Üniversite Öğrencilerinde Sosyal Fizik Kaygısı ve Depresyonun Yeme Bozukluğu Riski ile İlişkisi. Beslenme ve Diyet Dergisi 2019; 47 (2): 20-29. doi: https://doi.org/10.33076/2019.BDD.1088

Perryman M, Barnard, M, Reysen R. College students' disordered eating, substance use, and body satisfaction. College Student Journal 2018; 52 (4): 516-522.

He J, Sun S, Zickgraf HF, Lin Z, Fan X. Meta-analysis of gender differences in body appreciation. Body Image 2020; 33: 90-100. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.02.011

Meneses L, Torres S, Miller KM, Barbosa MR. Extending the use of the Body Appreciation Scale-2 in older adults: A Portuguese validation study. Body Image 2019; 29: 74-81. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2019.02.011

Trindade AP, Appolinario JC, Mattos P, Treasure J, Nazar BP. Eating disorder symptoms in Brazilian university students: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry 2019; 41 (2): 179-187. doi: https://doi.org/10.1590/1516-4446-2018-0014

Díaz Gutiérrez MC, Bilbao y Morcelle GM, Unikel Santoncini C, Muñoz Espinosa A, Escalante Izeta EI, Parra Carriedo A. Relationship between nutritional status, body dissatisfaction and risky eating behaviors in Nutrition students. Revista Mexicana de Trastornos Alimentarios 2019; 10 (1): 53-65. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.22201/fesi.20071523e.2019.1.490

Şanlier N, Türközü D Toka O. Body image, food addiction, depression, and body mass index in university students. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 2016; 55 (6): 491-507. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/03670244.2016.1219951

Şengör G, Gezer C. Food addiction and its relationship with disordered eating behaviours and obesity. Eat Weight Disord. 2019; 24 (6): 1031-1039. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-019-00662-3

Weinberger NA, Luck-Sikorski C. Body appreciation and appearance evaluation in individuals with obesity compared to individuals with normal-weight: findings from a representative German population sample. Eat Weight Disord 2021; 26 (7): 2241-2249. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-020-01071-7

Yu Z, Tan M. Disordered Eating Behaviors and Food Addiction among Nutrition Major College Students. Nutrients 2016; 8 (11): 673. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8110673

Saleh RN, Salameh RA, Yhya HH, Sweileh WM. Disordered eating attitudes in female students of An-Najah National University: a cross-sectional study. J Eat Disord 2018; 6: 1-6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40337-018-0204-4

Eikey EV, Reddy MC, Booth KM, et al. Desire to Be Underweight: Exploratory Study on a Weight Loss App Community and User Perceptions of the Impact on Disordered Eating Behaviors. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2017; 5 (10): e150. doi: https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.6683

Uchôa FNM, Uchôa NM, Daniele TMDC, et al. Influence of the Mass Media and Body Dissatisfaction on the Risk in Adolescents of Developing Eating Disorders. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019; 16 (9): 1508. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091508

Aparicio-Martinez P, Perea-Moreno A-J, Martinez-Jimenez MP, Redel-Macías MD, Pagliari C, Vaquero-Abellan M. Social Media, Thin-Ideal, Body Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating Attitudes: An Exploratory Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16 (21): 4177. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214177

Alkazemi D, Zafar TA, Ebrahim M, Kubow S. Distorted weight perception correlates with disordered eating attitudes in Kuwaiti college women. Int J Eat Disord. 2018; 51 (5): 449-458. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.22852






Original articles

How to Cite

Risk of eating disorders and its association with expectations of thinness, body satisfaction and body mass index in Turkish university students: A cross-sectional study: Eating Disorders, Expectations of Thinness, and Body Satisfaction. Progr Nutr [Internet]. 2023 Jun. 30 [cited 2024 Jun. 16];25(2):e2023016. Available from: https://mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/progressinnutrition/article/view/13582