Aspects Related to Body Image and Eating Behaviors in Healthy Brazilian Undergraduate Students

Armando Afonso Jr, Thales Ferro, Luis Anunciação, J. Landeira-Fernandez


The discrepancy between one’s actual body and the ideal body, especially among young adults, can lead to body dissatisfaction in both men and women, which is commonly accepted to be central to eating disorders. We explored aspects of body image and eating disorders in healthy Brazilian students (n = 219) using two standardized measures (Body Shape Questionnaire [BSQ-34] and Eating Attitudes Test [EAT-26]) and assessing height, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), and the history of physical activity. We also analyzed the ability of one measure to predict another. Linear multiple regression was used to verify which variables best predicted the scale outcomes. The Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) was used for variable selection. The results suggested that women have a greater risk of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. Both instruments had variables that significantly predicted each other’s results, whereas BMI was only associated with BSQ-34 scores. These findings broaden our understanding of eating disorders and body image.

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