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Disturbed eating behaviours and associated psychographic characteristics of college students.
J Hum Nutr Diet 2013; 26 Suppl 1:53-63JH

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Young adulthood is a stressful transition period that may increase the risk for disturbed eating, especially for college students. The present study aimed to explore disturbed eating behaviours and a broad array of associated psychographic characteristics in a large, diverse sample of college students.

METHODS

College students (n = 2604; 58% white; 63% female) enrolled at three large, public US universities in 2009 and 2010 were recruited to take an online survey. The survey included reliable and valid disturbed eating behaviour and associated psychographic characteristic measures.

RESULTS

Many participants engaged in disturbed eating practices. For example, one-quarter of women and one-fifth of men engaged in dietary restraint. One in seven reported regularly binge eating. One-third used inappropriate compensatory behaviours (self-induced vomiting, medicine misuse and excessive exercise) as a means for controlling weight and/or shape, with the rate of these behaviours reaching clinically significant levels for 4%, 3% and 5% of participants, respectively. Examination of psychographic characteristics revealed that one-fifth had moderate levels of depression and anxiety severity and almost half engaged in at least one obsessive-compulsive disorder type behaviour. Females felt under more pressure to attain the media physical appearance standard than males.

CONCLUSIONS

The findings of the present study suggest that nutrition education interventions for college students may be needed to address disturbed eating behaviours and to provide guidance on how to seek professional help. The findings also suggest that it may be prudent for healthcare professionals to routinely screen college students for disturbed eating behaviours and offer interventions early when treatment is likely to be most effective.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research, Bethesda, MD, USA. gingermquick@gmail.comNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23627697

Citation

Quick, V M., and C Byrd-Bredbenner. "Disturbed Eating Behaviours and Associated Psychographic Characteristics of College Students." Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics : the Official Journal of the British Dietetic Association, vol. 26 Suppl 1, 2013, pp. 53-63.
Quick VM, Byrd-Bredbenner C. Disturbed eating behaviours and associated psychographic characteristics of college students. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2013;26 Suppl 1:53-63.
Quick, V. M., & Byrd-Bredbenner, C. (2013). Disturbed eating behaviours and associated psychographic characteristics of college students. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics : the Official Journal of the British Dietetic Association, 26 Suppl 1, pp. 53-63. doi:10.1111/jhn.12060.
Quick VM, Byrd-Bredbenner C. Disturbed Eating Behaviours and Associated Psychographic Characteristics of College Students. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2013;26 Suppl 1:53-63. PubMed PMID: 23627697.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Disturbed eating behaviours and associated psychographic characteristics of college students. AU - Quick,V M, AU - Byrd-Bredbenner,C, Y1 - 2013/04/30/ PY - 2013/5/1/entrez PY - 2013/5/1/pubmed PY - 2014/1/15/medline SP - 53 EP - 63 JF - Journal of human nutrition and dietetics : the official journal of the British Dietetic Association JO - J Hum Nutr Diet VL - 26 Suppl 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Young adulthood is a stressful transition period that may increase the risk for disturbed eating, especially for college students. The present study aimed to explore disturbed eating behaviours and a broad array of associated psychographic characteristics in a large, diverse sample of college students. METHODS: College students (n = 2604; 58% white; 63% female) enrolled at three large, public US universities in 2009 and 2010 were recruited to take an online survey. The survey included reliable and valid disturbed eating behaviour and associated psychographic characteristic measures. RESULTS: Many participants engaged in disturbed eating practices. For example, one-quarter of women and one-fifth of men engaged in dietary restraint. One in seven reported regularly binge eating. One-third used inappropriate compensatory behaviours (self-induced vomiting, medicine misuse and excessive exercise) as a means for controlling weight and/or shape, with the rate of these behaviours reaching clinically significant levels for 4%, 3% and 5% of participants, respectively. Examination of psychographic characteristics revealed that one-fifth had moderate levels of depression and anxiety severity and almost half engaged in at least one obsessive-compulsive disorder type behaviour. Females felt under more pressure to attain the media physical appearance standard than males. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the present study suggest that nutrition education interventions for college students may be needed to address disturbed eating behaviours and to provide guidance on how to seek professional help. The findings also suggest that it may be prudent for healthcare professionals to routinely screen college students for disturbed eating behaviours and offer interventions early when treatment is likely to be most effective. SN - 1365-277X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23627697/Disturbed_eating_behaviours_and_associated_psychographic_characteristics_of_college_students_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12060 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -