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Revista Española de Salud Pública

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CANCELA CARRAL, José María  and  AYAN PEREZ, Carlos. Prevalence and relationship between physical activity and abnormal eating attitudes in Spanish women university students in health and education sciences. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.85, n.5, pp.499-505. ISSN 1135-5727.

Background: Future education and health professionals will be responsible for promoting physical activity and correct eating habits among the general population. This work aims to describe the prevalence and the degree of correlation between physical level and eating disorders in a sample made of nursing, physiotherapy and education female students. Methods: A total of 258 female students doing university courses during the academic year 2009-2010 at the University of Vigo (Pontevedra's Campus) and who were registered in nursing (87), physiotherapy (73) and education (98) took part in this transversal descriptive study. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire and the Eating Attitude Test were used to assess the prevalence of physical activity and eating disturbed attitudes respectively. Results: The data showed that 63 (64,7%) of nursing students and 63 (72,1%) of education students reported the higher physical inactivity values, while 19 (19.4%) and 13 (15,3%) of them were likely to suffer from eating disorders respectively. Significant differences were found between the academic degree and the physical activity level of the sample (chi2=10,265; Sig.<0,05). The degree of association observed between physical activity energy expenditure and the existence of eating disturbed attitudes was only significant among education students (OR= 3,58; IC 95%= 1,29-9,93; Sig.<0.05). Conclusion: An important prevalence of physical inactivity and eating disturbed attitudes seems to exist attitudes among education and nursing students. There is a chance that the performance of intense physical activity could be related to inadequate eating habits.

Keywords : Motor activity; Nutrition; Women; Physical Therapy; Education; Nursing; Universities.

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