Obesity, diet and restrained eating in a Mediterranean population

D. Sánchez-Carracedo, C. Saldaña, J. M. Domènech

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate links between obesity, gender and restrained eating in a representative sample of adolescents in Catalonia, Spain. Design: Several surveys were conducted in which measurements were taken of a sample of adolescents living in the city of Barcelona. Subjects: 610 subjects (57% girls and 43% boys) with ages ranging between 15-17, from 22 schools in Barcelona. Measurements: Weight, height, Body Mass Index (BMI) as measurement of obesity, subscale 'Diet' of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) as measurement of concern for dieting, and subjects' negative or affirmative responses to the questions as to whether they were following a diet at the time of the study. Results: 15% of the sample was found to be obese (13.5% presented grade I obesity - BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2; 1.3% presented grade II obesity - BMI 30-40 kg/m2, 0.2% presented grade III obesity - BMI > 40 kg/m2). Dieting has a strong influence on normal-weight female adolescent populations in Spain. Such girls are more concerned about dieting and are more likely to follow a diet independent of the extent to which they are overweight. Obese subjects are more likely to show greater concern for their diet and to be on a diet than those of normal-weight. The restrained behaviour observed in obese subjects is not related to the type of restraint evaluated using instruments such as the 'Diet' subscale of the EAT. Conclusion: Our results show a lower prevalence of obesity in Spain (a European sample) than in the United States. But the prevalence of obesity is not insignificant. It would appear that there is no linear relationship between the degree of excess weight and the restraint boundary. The prevalence of restrained eating behaviour among young adolescent girls in Spain is high. Given the dangers of such attitudes, it is becoming increasingly necessary to develop preventive programmes to combat them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-950
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 1996


  • Adolescents
  • Diet
  • Dietary concern
  • Obesity
  • Restraint


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