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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Factors Associated with Disordered Eating between Male and Female Malaysian University Students

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Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia
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Research Centre of Excellence for Nutrition and Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia
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Faculty of Sports Science and Recreation, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor 40450, Malaysia
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Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, Sunway, Selangor 47500, Malaysia
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Institute of Nutrition Sciences, Kagawa Nutrition University, Saitama 350-0288, Japan
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Nutritional Sciences Programme & Centre for Community Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020318
Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 18 January 2020 / Accepted: 22 January 2020 / Published: 25 January 2020
Disordered eating is prevalent among university students, especially females. Whilst literature suggests that factors associated with disordered eating may differ according to gender, such an association has not been studied in Malaysia. This cross-sectional study aims to compare factors associated with disordered eating between male and female university students. A total of 716 university students (male: 27.4%; female: 72.6%) were recruited in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Malaysia. All participants completed a set of self-administered questionnaires and their body weight and height were recorded. About one in five of the university students (20.3%) were found to have disordered eating. There were more female students (22.9%) disordered eating compared to males (13.3%, χ2 = 8.16, p < 0.05). In male students (β = 0.228, p < 0.01), depressive symptoms were the only significant predictor for disordered eating. In females, the strongest predictor was depressive symptoms (β = 0.214, p < 0.001), followed by body size satisfaction (β = −0.145, p < 0.01) and body appreciation (β = −0.101, p < 0.05). These findings suggest that there are gender differences in the factors associated with disordered eating among Malaysian university students. Intervention programmes that address disordered eating should take into account these sex differences and its contributing factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: disordered eating; Malaysia; university students; body image; depressive symptoms disordered eating; Malaysia; university students; body image; depressive symptoms
MDPI and ACS Style

Chin, Y.S.; Appukutty, M.; Kagawa, M.; Gan, W.Y.; Wong, J.E.; Poh, B.K.; Mohd Shariff, Z.; Mohd Taib, M.N. Comparison of Factors Associated with Disordered Eating between Male and Female Malaysian University Students. Nutrients 2020, 12, 318.

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