Relationship between body image, attitudes towards eating disorders and nutritional status in university students in the health area

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT Objective To evaluate the relationship between body image dissatisfaction, attitudes towards eating disorders and nutritional status in university students of health area. Methods Descriptive, transversal and quantitative study with 225 university students registered in eight health courses. To obtain the data, three self-administered instruments were used: the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ), the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), and a questionnaire built by the researchers, containing the self-reported data of height, current and desired weight, course and age. The nutritional status was established according to the calculation of body mass index (BMI). For the data analysis, the Pearson chi-square test was applied, adopting the significance level of 5%. Results The mean age was 22.65 years and the BMI was 23.05 kg/m2, with the majority of university students in eutrophy (69.8%). Regarding the desired weight, 74.7% would like to weigh less, of which 64.9% were eutrophic. According to the BSQ, 51.1% of university students had some degree of body dissatisfaction and the prevalence of attitudes indicative of eating disorders, according to the EAT-26, it was 21.8%. There was a statistically significant association between: BMI and BSQ (p < 0.001); BMI and EAT-26 (p < 0.005); BSQ and EAT-26 (p < 0.001). When correlating the dissatisfaction of body image and attitudes of risk for eating disorders, it is noticed that 87.75% of university students with positive EAT also presented some degree of body dissatisfaction. Conclusion It was evidenced the existence of relation between the body image dissatisfaction, attitudes of risk for eating disorders and nutritional status of university students of health area.</p><p></p>