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Obesity Concerns & Weight Satisfaction In Female Taiwanese College Students

Weight Study
This study was designed to obtain baseline data regarding desired body weight, weight satisfaction, self-perceived weight categories, approaches to weight loss of female college students in Taiwan. The characteristics of subjects who are dieting were also assessed. One thousand, fifty-seven female college students participated in this study.

Weight Loss Study Results
In general, subjects perceived themselves as being heavier than their actual weight categories. The percentage of subjects who perceived they were overweight or obese was much higher than the percentage of subjects who were actually in these categories (51.4 percent vs. 16.2 percent). Above 20 percent of subjects in both severely underweight and underweight categories use some methods to lose weight. More than 60 percent of subjects in acceptable weight categories still want to lose weight. A higher percentage of subjects chose exercise than dieting as the major weight-loss method. Subjects in the DS/D (dissatisfied/dieting) group did not score higher points for knowledge and attitude in nutrition, and they tended to measure their body weight more frequently, spent more time for exercise and for reading nutrition information; they also skipped lunch more frequently than others.

Weight Loss Study Conclusions
The results indicate that risk factors leading to eating disorders are common among Taiwanese college females. Dietitians, physicians and other health professionals should be on the alert to identify patients with eating disorders.

Source: Institute of Nutritional Science, Chungshan Medical and Dental College, Taiwan. 1999

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