De SÃ¡ Resende, Ayane1; Aliete dos Santos Vieira, Diva2; SimÃµes Mendes-Netto, Raquel3
Introduction: Studies have shown that most women have body dissatisfaction and desire to reduce your silhouette, which are associated to the risk of developing eating disorders. A important number of women engaged in sports is known for presenting an inadequate eating behavior and display a body dissatisfaction. However there are few studies that have addressed this issue among those subjects attending fitness centers, who are also concerned about their body shape.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of developing eating disorders and factors that are associated with this risk among physically active women at fitness centers.
Materials and methods: Representative sample consisted of 356 young women who exercise in fitness centers in the city of Aracaju, SE, Brazil (CAAE - 19845413.3.00 00.5546). A questionnaire with socioeconomic data, physical activity data and adoption of diets/supplements for weight loss and body awareness was applied, as well as the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26).
Results and discussion: The results showed a considerable prevalence of eating disorders (25,8%) and body dissatisfaction (73,9%). The most women are dissatisfied due to overweight (54,9%) and desired to reducing their silhouette in 2 degrees. Logistic regression showed that the adoption of diets/supplements (OR = 2,71), excessive concern with body shape (OR = 3,52), low self-esteem (OR = 2,14), and degree of body dissatisfaction (OR = 1,37) were associated with risk of developing eating disorders (p <0.05). However, schooling was considered a protective factor for the development of eating disorders (OR = 0,13).
Conclusion: Women at fitness centers who had at least one of the variables (lower schooling, adoption of diets/supplements for weight loss, feelings of inferiority and body dissatisfaction) are more likely to develop eating disorders. These data represent a concern since at least two of ten women at fitness centers presented risk of developing eating disorders in addition to the high prevalence of body dissatisfaction.