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Table 1 Summary of studies reporting eating disorder-related variables in the Arab world

From: Eating disorders in the Arab world: a literature review

Country/ Population Authors (year) Participants Study design Measures Eating disorder-related variables M (SD)/OR [95% CI]/ r
Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Palestinians residing in al-Khalil, Syria, UAE Musaiger et al., (2013) [26] N = 4698, 2240 male, 2458 female, age 15–18 Cross sectional EAT 26 Disturbed eating behavior: twice as high in females than in males in Jordan, Libya, Palestinians residing in al-Khalil and Syria Disturbed eating behavior: (p < 0.000), males as reference
Jordan OR 2.96 [2.19–4.01]
Libya OR 2.02 [1.37–2.98]
Palestinians residing in al-Khalil OR 2.11 [1.39–3.22]
Syria OR 2.75 [2.02–3.77]
Bahrain Al-Sendi, Shetty, & Musaiger (2004) [82] N = 504, 249 male, 257 female, age 12–17 Cross sectional FRS (self- developed) Body dissatisfaction: female: 50%, male: 30% not reported
Egypt Ford, Dolan, & Evans (1990) [10] N = 218, 61 male, mean age = 20.0, 169 female, mean age = 19.5, university students Cross sectional FRS (self- developed) Thin ideal: female: ideal shape significantly thinner than their actual shape; male & female: preference for thinness Discrepancy between current and ideal figure: t = 3.67, p = 0.001. Mean discrepancy: female 0.56–1.02, male − 0.02-1.00
M (SD) = Female current 3.75 (0.9), ideal 3.19 (0.9). Male current 4.18 (1.1), ideal 4.2 (0.7)
Jordan Madanat, Hawks, & Angeles (2011) [83] N = 800, female Cross sectional 9- figure silhouettes Body dissatisfaction: 66% not reported
Jordan Mousa, Mashal, Al-Domi, & Jibril (2010) [84] N = 326, female, age: 10–16 Cross sectional EAT 26
BSQ |Western norms
Body dissatisfaction: 21.2%. Association between EAT and BSQ. BSQ: M (SD) = 79.1 (34.5), 21.2% above cutoff
χ2 (1, 326) = 104.8, p < 0.01
Jordan Zawawi (2014) [85] N = 170, female, age: 20–55, fitness center users Cross sectional BSQ Body dissatisfaction: 31.01% M (SD) = 3.19 (10.3)
Kuwait Ebrahim, Alkazemi, Zafar, & Kubow (2019) [86] N = 400, Male, university students Cross sectional Body Builder Image Grid Body dissatisfaction: 69%, desire to lose body fat associated with disordered eating attitudes OR = 1.898 [1.214–2.967], p = 0.005
Kuwait Musaiger & Al- Mannai (2013) [26] N = 228, female, university students, age 19–25 Cross sectional Questions validated by Field et al., 2005, translated into Arabic Body dissatisfaction: non-obese: 30%, obese: 81%. 21.6% of non-obese perceived themselves as overweight not reported
Lebanon Zeeni, Gharibeh, & Katsounari (2013) [23] N = 400, female, university students in Cyprus (n = 200) and Lebanon (n = 200) Cross sectional Dutch eating behavior questionnaire Association between restrained and emotional eating M (SD): restrained = 29.20 (0.71), emotional eating = 37.76 (0.98), external eating = 33.33 (0.51), p < 0.05,
Qatar Bener, Kamal, Tewfik, & Sabuncuoglu (2006) [35] N = 800, male, age 14–19 Case control (dieting) Adolescent dieting scale
Self- reporting questionnaire
Extreme dieting: 10.1% not reported
Qatar Musaiger, Shahbeek, & Al-Mannai (2004) [15] N = 535, male, age 20–67, primary health care center visitors Cross sectional 9- figure silhouettes Desire to be thin: 21.6%, low education 40%, mid-level education 45%, high education 53%. Desire to be thin was associated with age and education Thin ideal, education: p = 0.0001, age > 40 years p = 0.0001
Saudi Arabia Al- Subaie (2000) [87] N = 1179, female, mean age = 16.1 Cross sectional EDI 2 DT Desire to be thin: 15.9% M = 6.7, SD not reported
Saudi Arabia Fallatah, Al-Hemairy, & Al-Ghamidi (2015) [66] N = 425,female, age 15–18 Cross sectional EAT 26 Prevalence of dieting not reported Dieting: 9.38 (7.0)
UAE Eapen, Mabrouk, & bin Othman (2006) [20] N = 495, female, age 13–18 Cross sectional EAT 40 Thin ideal: 66% preferred a slimmer body than their actual body. Desire to be thin associated with elevated EAT 40 scores p < 0.0001
Country Authors (year) Participants Study design Measures Eating disorder-related variables M (SD)/OR [95% C.I.]/ r
UAE O’Hara et al., (2016) [74] N = 420, female, mean age = 23.12, university students Cross sectional EAT 26
Teasing frequency from Project eating attitudes and teens
Weight and body related shame and guilt scale
Dieting associated with body dissatisfaction r = 0.66, p < 0.001
UAE Sawadi, Bener, & Darmaki (2000) [88] N = 540, female, age 11–19 Cross sectional Adolescent dieting scale Dieting: 89.4% dieting, 9.1% extreme dieting not reported
UAE Schulte & Thomas (2013) [89] N = 361, 284 female, 77 male, age 11–19, university students Cross sectional EAT 26 Body image dissatisfaction: 73%, female: 78%, male: 58%, body dissatisfaction associated with desire to be thin and elevated EAT score Desire to be thin: χ2(2) = 27.083, p < 0.001, EAT: t(348), p < 0.001
UAE Schulte (2016) [90] N = 236, mean age = 19.78 Cross sectional Body esteem scale, emotional eating scale, Weight and body related shame and guilt scale Disturbed eating behavior and body dissatisfaction associated with binge eating M (SD): body related shame = 8.00 (8.00), body related guilt = 11.50 (9.00). Associations with binge eating: disturbed eating behavior: p < 0.001, body dissatisfaction: p < 0.001
UAE Thomas, Khan, & Abdulrahman (2010) [14] N = 228, female, mean age = 19.8, university students Cross sectional EAT 26
FRS
Body dissatisfaction: 74.8%, association between body image dissatisfaction and disturbed eating behavior r = 0.27, p = 0.01
  1. Note: BSQ Body Shape Questionnaire, EAT Eating Attitude Test, FRS Figure Rating Scale, EDI 2 DT Eating Disorders Inventory 2 Drive for Thinness Scale