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Objective. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of disordered eating and the dietary patterns of young adult female students. Method. 226 young female first and second year students were randomly recruited. The EAT-26 questionnaire was used to measure disordered eating, and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory tool (STAI) to assess anxiety levels. Results. The prevalence of disordered eating (DE group) was quite high and matched previous reported percentages for this age population (18%). DE students showed significantly lower energy intake compared to control group (CON) (1471 ± 357 vs. 1690 ± 563, kcals). Conclusion. Young adult female students show increased tendency towards disordered or restricted eating behaviours. Preventive intervention concerning the negative behaviours may be beneficial for all college students more so to those suffering from anxiety.
The current study detected a rather high percentage of students (18%) present eating disorders, as measured by the EAT-26 self-reported questionnaire. Young adult students who claim to be more anxious appear to be at a greater risk for developing disordered and restrictive eating behaviours. Preventative intervention concerning the negative outcomes of both disordered and restrictive eating behaviours may be beneficial for all college students, particularly those who at the same time present increased anxiety levels.