The relationship between social physique anxiety, body mass index, and eating behaviors among university students


Payame Noor University


Introduction: The present study examined the relationship between social physique anxiety (SPA), body mass index (BMI), and eating behaviors among students.Method: 302 students from Payame-Noor University, with mean age 23 years and 3 months (SD = 4.56) were randomly selected using a multistage cluster sampling method. All participants filled out the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ), and the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS). Weight and BMI, Waist, abdomen, and hip were measured. Data were analyzed using SPSS- 16, Pearson correlation coefficient, and multivariate regression.Results: The results revealed positive correlations between SPAS and eating behavior components, BMI, waist, abdomen, and hip circumferences. Multivariate regression data revealed that eating behavior components and anthropometrical factors might explain 13.1% of SPAS variance.Conclusion: Findings suggested that body deformation due to fat accumulation in different areas of the body may lead to increased SPA, resulting in dysfunctional eating behaviors (such as disinhibition), which may be due to the arousal of the anxiety cycle.