Nutrition-Related Factors and Binge Eating Behaviour in a Sample of Malaysian University Students

BARAKATUN NISAK MOHD YUSOF, CHIN YIT SIEW, YEN HUI THU, ELLIN KIUNG, ROHANA ABDUL GHANI, ADHAM MOTALLIB, OSAMA HAMDY

Abstract


Binge eating (BE) behaviour is associated with obesity and eating disorders. This cross-sectional study investigates BE behaviour and its relationship with nutrition-related factors among university students. A total of 170 (69% females) university students in Malaysia aged 19 to 24 years participated in this study. BE behaviour was assessed with the use of Binge Eating Scale (BES) questionnaire. Socio-demographic background and nutritional status (anthropometric measurements, body mass index (BMI) and dietary intake) were also measured. BE behaviour reported by 10% percent of the participants. BE behaviour was associated with increased energy intake, elevated BMI and sex (Adjusted R2 = 0.116, p < 0.001). Differences in sex-specific factors in predicting the risk of BE behaviour were evident. In male participants, an increased in energy intake, elevated BMI and had a higher waist circumference associated with the risk of BE behaviour (Adjusted R2 = 0.411, p < 0.001). In female participants, only a higher waist circumference associated with BE behaviour (Adjusted R2 = 0.028, p < 0.05). The finding suggests that understanding sex-specific factors are necessary to prevent BE. These are the potential targets for tailored eating behaviour intervention among university students.


Keywords


Nutrition; binge eating behaviour; Malaysian university students; obesity; sex

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