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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-102

Prevalence and associated factors of eating disorders in patrons of sport centers in Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam; Primary Health Care, Ministry of Health, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nouf A AlShamlan
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, P.O. Box 1982, Dammam 31441
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.jfcm_113_21

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BACKGROUND: In recent times, mental health problems have been on the increase worldwide. Among these are eating disorders. The current study aim was to assess the prevalence of the symptoms of eating disorders in patrons of sport centers in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and its association with patrons' sociodemographic, and exercise characteristics, as well as social media use. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 560 sport center clients. The Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26), as well as questions on sociodemographic, exercise, and the use of the social media was collected through self-administered questionnaires. Descriptive statistics, Chi-squared test, and Fischer's exact tests were performed. RESULTS: The prevalence of the symptoms of eating disorders was found to be 36.6% according to the results of the EAT-26. There were no significant differences in the rates of eating disorders between genders. Frequencies of eating disorder symptoms increased with an increase in the body mass index of the participants. In addition, more than half of the participants who were pressured by social media to be slim and perceived that social media influencers motivated them to go to the gym had eating disorders' symptoms. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of eating disorders symptoms was high among the sport center patrons examined. The findings from this study might help family physicians, mental health professionals, and sport medicine specialists wishing to understand this issue in Arab populations. Developing strategies regarding mental health in sport center patrons are suggested. In addition, a screening program is recommended for this population to identify those who need further evaluation and management.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010