2020 Volume 9 Issue 4
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Weight Control Behaviors among Female University Students in Saudi Arabia

Rawan Alsehli, Haya Aljadani

Weight control behaviors (WCBs) are common among university students, however, not all WCBs are healthy and safe. Unhealthy WCB is common among female students especially those who suffer from excess weight. Understanding personal WCBs are important to explore because it is relevant to public health. Therefore, the main aims of the study were to explore WCB followed by female students with BMI ≥ 18.5 kg/m2 at a university located at Jeddah of Saudi Arabia, and to explore what was the main source of information about how to lose or maintain weight. A cross-sectional study was carried out at the female campus of King Abdulaziz University. Information about demographics and history of various healthy and unhealthy WCBs was collected from participants. Weight and height were measured by a trained research assistant and BMI was calculated. A total of 238 students were included in the analysis, more than half of whom (58.8%) followed one or more of WCBs in the last 12 months. 47.9%, 10.9% of the total sample aimed to lose or maintain their current weight, respectively. The majority of overweight and obese (87.3%) students were on attempts to lose weight. Healthy WCB were more common than unhealthy WCB. While out of 5 selected unhealthy WCB, skipped meals (57.9%) and fasting (42.1%) were the most common unhealthy practices. Motivation to follow WCB was to improve appearance (41.4%) and social media was the main source of the information about WCB. Fortunately, it seems that most of the overweight/obese students were aware of their weight and sought weight loss by following healthy WCB, however, the information about WCB obtained from social media may mislead them to imprecise information.

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Issue 3 Volume 13 (2024)