Alleviation: An International Journal of Nutrition, Gender & Social Development, ISSN 2348-9340
Volume 3, Number 3 (2016) : 1-17
©Arya PG College, Panipat & Business Press India Publication, Delhi,

Assessment of Nutritional Status and Risk of Developing Disordered Eating Among Late Adolescents (18-22 Years) of Chandigarh

Dr. Ritu Pradhan Assistant Professor & Shweta Suri Post Graduate Student
Department of Foods and Nutrition, Government Home Science College, Chandigarh (UT), India


The study was conducted with the objective to assess the nutritional status, to find out the risk of disordered eating and night eating syndrome pattern among college students of Chandigarh. By purposive random sampling method, five co- educational colleges were selected and late adolescents (18-22 years) of these colleges were approached including boys and girls and hostelers and day scholars, for carrying out the survey. Permission from college principals was also obtained. Data were collected through self administered questionnaire which was pre-tested on 10 adolescents (18-22 years) before conducting the actual survey. The questionnaire included the questions regarding general information, sleep and night eating pattern and EAT test was also conducted to know and analyze whether the respondents were symptomatic or asymptomatic for disordered eating. For the assessment of nutritional status, height and weight were measured to calculate BMI.

Total number of subjects studied were 380 (188 boys and 192 girls: 211 hostelers and 169 day scholars). Poor food habits, irregular meal timings, unhealthy snacking and skipping of meals were most prevalent among the adolescents. Eating out was common among most of the studied respondents, chi- square value between hostelers and day scholars and boys and girls revealed highly significant results (p-value <0.01) and positive co- relation. Forty per cent of respondents reported stress as a main problem. More than half (52.3%) were in the habit of night snacking and maximum percentage of respondents were hostelers, however no significant differences (Chi square) between hostelers and day scholars and boys and girls were found. Adolescents suffering from stress reported more night snacking behaviors with a p-value <0.01. EAT test depicted that almost one third of the total respondents i.e. 32.7 per cent were symptomatic of disordered eating behavior. BMI revealed that 22.2 per cent girls and 21.2 per cent boys were under weight and 11.1 per cent girls and 23.1 per cent boys were overweight.

As youth progress from adolescence into adulthood, disordered eating behaviors (Binge eating, night snacking, nibbling) become more common. As shown in the present study, these fluctuating and changed patterns together could force the youngsters at risk of various chronic illnesses further causing clinical eating disorders. Awareness regarding healthy eating, more of physical activity and control over eating behavior is needed to secure the health of youth and further improving the future generation of the country, as youth only builds up the strong future of the nation. Therefore it is important to identify, develop and implement strategies for the prevention of disordered eating behaviors.

Keywords: Adolescents, Disordered Eating, EAT Test, Night Eating Syndrome, Nutritional Status.

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