235266 University students' knowledge of and ability to identify disordered eating warning signs and risk factors

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ashlee Hoffman, MA, MS , Department of Health Promotion and Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Keith A. King, PhD, CHES , Department of Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Rebecca Vidourek, PhD, CHES , Health Promotion and Education Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Background: The present study examined university students' knowledge of disordered eating behaviors, engagement in disordered eating, and ability to identify warning signs and risk factors associated with disordered eating. Methods: A two page, 83 item survey was distributed to students (N = 450) at one Midwestern university. The survey was tested for validity and reliability prior to survey administration and resulted in correlation coefficients for stability reliability and internal consistency reliability > .80. Results: Results indicated that a high percentage of students were engaging in disordered eating behaviors particularly purging. Students were not aware of common warning signs of disordered eating including preoccupation with weight and excessive exercise. Logistic regression analyses indicated significant differences based on sex and grade. Conclusions: This study found that students were not aware of warning signs and risk factors of disordered eating. Additional education is needed to increase university student knowledge of disordered eating behaviors. Findings may be beneficial to university health professionals in developing programs targeting university students. Recommendations for future research and programming will be offered.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss risk factors for disordered eating behaviors among university students. Identify warning signs for disordered eating behaviors among university students Discuss implications of the study on disordered eating prevention and intervention programs for university students.

Keywords: Prevention, Risk Factors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have a MA in clinical psychology and have worked in addiction, as a counselor. I have also completed a MS degree in health promotion and education with a focus in health psychology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.