Exploring disordered eating behaviours among adolescent girls in Islamabad, Pakistan

Main Article Content

Ramla Zaid Malik
Sumara Masood Ul Hassan
Ruqia Safdar Bajwa


OBJECTIVE: To study the frequency of disordered eating (DE) behaviors and associated factors among Pakistani adolescent female students residing in Islamabad.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted from May 2022 to August 2022. A total of 411 adolescent females aged 13 to 18 were recruited using purposive sampling from schools and colleges in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. Data was collected using the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire–Short Form (EDE-Q-SF) and a background characteristics sheet. Out of 411 initially recruited participants, 381 female students remained after removing incomplete questionnaires and outliers for the study. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS (version 20), including Pearson's product-moment correlation, independent samples t-test, Chi-square tests, and one-way ANOVA to examine the relationship between disordered eating and BMI.

RESULTS: Mean age of the participants was 15.31±1.66 years. Among the 381 adolescent females, 19% reported moderate levels of DE, and 43.8% were underweight. Significant correlations were found between BMI and DE (α=0.323). Bivariate analysis indicated that the father's occupation (t=4.59), physical illness (t=3.10), mental illness (t=2.48), and daily hours spent on social media (F=7.57) significantly impacted DE scores. None of the background characteristics significantly impacted BMI scores.

CONCLUSION: Approximately one fifth of the study population reported moderate levels of DE, with 43.8% classified as underweight. Significant correlations between BMI and DE, along with the impact of various factors like parental occupation, mental illness, and social media usage, highlight the need for targeted interventions to reduce body image concerns and associated health risks in this population.

Article Details

How to Cite
Malik, R. Z., S. M. Ul Hassan, and R. S. Bajwa. “Exploring Disordered Eating Behaviours Among Adolescent Girls in Islamabad, Pakistan”. KHYBER MEDICAL UNIVERSITY JOURNAL, vol. 16, no. 2, June 2024, doi:10.35845/kmuj.2024.23315.
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