Nizar Abdul Majeed KuttyUniversiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia
Title: Prevalence and Associated Factors of Eating Disorders among University Students during COVID-19 Home Confinement: A Cross-sectional Study
COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the risks and symptoms of eating disorders. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of eating disorders among university students during COVID-19 home confinement. A cross-sectional online survey study was conducted in an institution in Malaysia. Convenience sampling method was applied to recruit 382 students. The demographic and socioeconomic data, behavioral variables and accessibility to health services were collected. Five major validated questionnaires were applied; Sick, Control, One, Fat, Food Questionnaire, Household Food Insecurity Access Scale, COVID-19 Student Stress Questionnaire, Patient Health Questionnaire-4 and Social Media Engagement Questionnaire. Pearson chi-square test was used for data analysis. The prevalence of eating disorders among sample was 39.3%. Positive screening for eating disorders was associated with high food insecurity, high stress, high psychological distress, and high social media engagement (p<0.001). Other influencing factors were female gender (p=0.002), higher weight status (p<0.001), lower household economic status (p=0.028), and limited access to health services (p<0.001). The prevalence of eating disorders among university students is high. Early diagnosis is important and the findings of this study can provide guidance for strategies to reduce the risk for eating disorders during any future period of infection outbreaks that requires home confinement.
Nizar is a Senior Lecturer in Department of Physiotherapy at University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia and has been a member of the faculty since 2011. His research interest spans a variety of topics in obesity, cognitive impact of sedentary behavior and educational psychology. Mr. Nizar presented his research findings at international conferences and published articles in ISI and Scopus indexed journals. He was invited as keynote speaker on several occasions for international conferences. He writes articles on health care for popular periodicals. Nizar served as Head of Department of Physiotherapy at Mahatma Gandhi University, India. He earned a Master degree in Orthopedic Physiotherapy from Mahatma Gandhi University, India and currently pursuing PhD in Medical Sciences