Risk of eating disorders and its association with body image concerns, depression, anxiety and stress among medical students in a college in Kerala


  • Chitra Tomy Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine , Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences , Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
  • Anju Lakshmi V House surgeon , Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences , Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
  • Kathleen Anne Mathew Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences ,Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
  • Arya Jith Assistant professor , Department of Psychiatry ,Amrita institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidhyapeetham.




Eating disorders, medical students, body shape concerns, depression, anxiety, stress


Background: Eating disorders are one of the most under-recognised psychiatric conditions which can lead to considerable morbidity. With their high workloads, academic pressure, and peer influence, medical students may be more likely to develop eating disorders. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of eating disorders among medical students in a college in Kerala.  It was also planned to find its association with body shape concerns, depression, anxiety and stress. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 472 undergraduate medical students and interns at a medical college in Kerala. Socio-demographic proforma, Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26), Body Shape Questionnaire-8C (vBSQ-8C), Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21(DASS-21)-were administered after obtaining informed written consent. Statistical analysis was done using the chi-square test and Pearson correlation. Results: The prevalence of risk of eating disorders among medical students was 19.1%. Depression, anxiety and stress were significantly associated with the risk of eating disorders (p=0.034, p=0.001 and p=0.001, respectively). A positive correlation was found between the risk of eating disorders, body shape concerns and body mass index (p=0.001). Conclusion: A considerable risk of eating disorders was noted among medical students in Kerala. Body shape concerns and symptoms suggestive of depression, anxiety, and stress showed a significant association with the risk of eating disorders. Increased awareness and early identification can help institute timely interventions.


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How to Cite

Chitra Tomy, Anju Lakshmi V, Kathleen Anne Mathew, & Jith, A. (2021). Risk of eating disorders and its association with body image concerns, depression, anxiety and stress among medical students in a college in Kerala. Kerala Journal of Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.30834/KJP.34.2.2021.278



Research Report