Body Mass Index as an Indicator of Depression and Stress-induced Eating Disorders among College Students in Delhi, India
Keywords:Adolescence, Body mass index, Depression, Eating disorder, Obesity
Obesity accounts for a wide range of psychosocial, medical, and health consequences in adolescence leading to depression and low self-esteem which further aggravate eating disorders among individuals. The aim of the study is to observe the association of eating disorders and depression among college students with their body mass index (BMI) status. The study consisted of 460 students studying in different colleges of Delhi from varying disciplines and academic years. The study utilized Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Eating Disorder Examination questionnaire to assess the depression levels of participants and their level of eating disorder. The study also collected data on the height and weight of the study participants. The association of weight status with eating disorder and depression severity was assessed using multivariate analysis of variance. Significant difference in levels of eating disorder and depression was observed (Wilks’ lambda: 0.897) among study participants by BMI status. The post hoc tests exhibited mean differences for eating disorders and depression by BMI groups to be higher for overweight compared to underweight (1.196) and normal (0.817) categories at P < 0.001. Mean depression score was also observed to be significantly higher for overweight individuals compared to underweight (3.42) and normal (2.53). The study emphasizes the need for strategic plans to increase awareness among the youth on the health implications of eating disorders and its effect on mental health of individuals. The present study suggests perceived body image as a potential risk factor for unhealthy eating habits and signs of depression among college students.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Jain Rita, Das Deboshree, John M. Salome
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