Abnormal eating attitudes and weight loss behaviours of girls attending a "traditional" Jewish high school in Johannesburg : an examination of teachers' awareness

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dc.contributor.advisor Visser, J. en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Szabo, C. P. en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Fredericks, N. en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Harvey, J. en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Notelovitz, Talia en_ZA
dc.contributor.other University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Health Sciences. Dept. of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Human Nutrition. en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-24T13:08:43Z en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2011-03-14T08:36:23Z
dc.date.available 2011-02-24T13:08:43Z en_ZA
dc.date.available 2011-03-14T08:36:23Z
dc.date.issued 2011-03 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6736
dc.description Thesis (MNutr)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Background: Eating disorders are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in adolescent and young adult women. There is some evidence that Eating disorders may be more common in Jewish females than in their non-Jewish counterparts. Individuals with abnormal attitudes as defined by the Eating Attitudes Test (26-Item version) (EAT-26) are at increased risk of developing an eating disorder. School teachers are required to take an active role in the currently favoured ecological approach to the prevention of eating disorders. Objectives: The current study sought to determine the prevalence of abnormal eating attitudes and weight loss behaviours in a Jewish female adolescent sample and to investigate school teachers’ awareness of these factors and their attitudes towards a school programme to address these. Methods: A cross-sectional study of girls in grades 8 to 11 and teachers of both genders was undertaken at a “traditional” Jewish high school in Johannesburg, South Africa. A questionnaire consisting of the EAT-26 and a modified section of the United States Youth Risk Behaviour Survey (YRBS) was completed by pupils. A questionnaire developed by the researcher for the study was completed by teachers. Results: Two hundred and twenty pupils (response rate 84.3%) and 38 teachers (52.1%) participated. Twenty percent of pupils (n=43) had EAT-26 scores greater than or equal to 20 and 30.2% were found to require clinical evaluation for a potential eating disorder Thirty two point seven percent (n=72) of girls considered themselves to be overweight. Sixty four percent (n=139) were trying to lose weight at the time of the study and 19.1% (n=42) had engaged in one or more extreme methods of weight loss (fasting, purging or non-prescribed medication) in the past 12 months. Most teachers (81.6%, n=29) underestimated the proportion of girls requiring clinical evaluation and 71.1% (n=27) underestimated the extent of current weight loss attempts. Almost all (97.3%, n=37) the teachers recognised the need to address disordered eating attitudes and patterns in the school but only 34.2% (n=13) viewed the school as the appropriate place, would be prepared to participate and would give up class time. Conclusions: This is the first study to document the presence of abnormal eating attitudes among Jewish adolescent females in South Africa. The prevalence fell within the upper end of the range of rates reported in studies of adolescent girls in South Africa and abroad. Dieting and attempts at weight loss are common in this population and are also in keeping with the findings from international studies. This is the first study to measure teachers’ awareness of the eating attitudes and weight loss behaviours of girls attending the school at which they teach. The teachers participating in this study were not fully aware of the extent to which eating-related issues affect female pupils. Over and above this, there appears to be a resistance to facilitating and participating in a school programme addressing these issues. A qualitative exploration of this could yield valuable insights. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Agtergrond: Eetstoornisse is 'n belangrike oorsaak van morbiditeit en mortaliteit in adolessente en jong volwasse vroue. Daar is bewyse dat Eetstoornisse meer algemeen mag voorkom in Joodse vroue vergeleke met hul nie-Joodse eweknieë. Individue met 'n abnormale houding soos gedefinieer deur die Eet-Houding-Toets (“Eating Attitudes Test”) (26-punt weergawe) (EAT-26) het 'n verhoogde risiko om 'n eetstoornis te ontwikkel. Daar word van onderwysers verwag om 'n aktiewe rol te speel in die ekologiese benadering om eetstoornisse te voorkom, wat tans voorkeur geniet. Doelstellings: Die huidige studie het gepoog om die voorkoms van abnormale houding en gedrag ten opsigte van eet en gewigsverlies in 'n steekproef van Joodse vroulike adolessente te bepaal, asook om ondersoek in te stel of onderwysers bewus is van hierdie faktore en hul houding teenoor 'n skoolprogram wat dit aanspreek. Metodes: 'n Dwarssnit studie van meisies in graad 8 tot 11 en onderwysers van beide geslagte was uitgevoer by 'n "tradisionele" Joodse hoërskool in Johannesburg, Suid-Afrika. 'n Vraelys bestaande uit die EAT-26 en 'n aangepasde afdeling van die “United States Youth Risk Behaviour Survey (YRBS)” is voltooi deur studente. Onderwysers het 'n vraelys voltooi wat vir die studie ontwikkel is deur die navorser. Resultate: Tweehonderd-en-twintig leerlinge (responskoers 84.3%) en 38 onderwysers (52.1%) het deelgeneem. Twintig persent van leerlinge (n=43) het EAT-26 tellings groter as of gelyk aan 20 gehad en daar was bevind dat 30.2% kliniese evaluering vir 'n potensiële eetstoornis benodig. Twee-en-dertig punt sewe persent (n=72) van meisies het hulself as oorgewig beskou. Vier-ensestig persent (n=139) het probeer om gewig te verloor ten tye van die studie en 19.1% (n=42) het betrokke geraak by een of meer ekstreme metodes van gewigsverlies (vas, purgasie of nievoorskrif medikasie) in die afgelope 12 maande. Meeste onderwysers (81.6%, n=29) onderskat die proporsie van meisies wat kliniese evaluasie benodig en 71.1% (n=27) onderskat die omvang van huidige gewigsverlies-pogings. Byna alle (97.3%, n=37) onderwysers het die behoefte erken dat versteurde houdings en eetpatrone aangespreek moet word, maar slegs 34,2% (n=13) beskou die skool as die geskikte plek daarvoor en sal bereid wees om deel te neem en klastyd af te staan. Gevolgtrekkings: Die teenwoordigheid van abnormale houding teenoor eet onder Joodse vroulike adolessente in Suid-Afrika word vir die eerste keer in hierdie studie gedokumenteer. Die prevalensie val binne die boonste deel van die reikwydte van koerse wat gerapporteer is in studies oor adolessente meisies in Suid-Afrika en die buiteland. Dieet en pogings tot gewigsverlies is algemeen in hierdie populasie en stem ook ooreen met die bevindinge van internasionale studies. Dit is die eerste studie wat onderwysers se bewustheid meet ten opsigte van die eethoudings en gewigsverlies-gedrag van meisies wat skool bywoon waar hul onderrig gee. Die onderwysers wat deelgeneem het aan hierdie studie was nie ten volle bewus van die mate waartoe eet-verwante kwessies vroulike leerlinge affekteer nie. Boonop blyk daar weerstand te wees teenoor die fasilitering van, en deelname aan 'n skoolprogram wat hierdie kwessies aanspreek. Verdere kwalitatiewe ondersoeke hiervan kan moontlik waardevolle insig bied. af_ZA
dc.format.extent 91 p. : ill. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en_ZA en_ZA
dc.publisher Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch en_ZA
dc.subject Teenage girls -- Abnormal eating habits en_ZA
dc.subject Body image in adolescence en_ZA
dc.subject Teenage girls -- Weight loss en_ZA
dc.subject Dissertations -- Nutrition en_ZA
dc.subject Theses -- Nutrition en_ZA
dc.title Abnormal eating attitudes and weight loss behaviours of girls attending a "traditional" Jewish high school in Johannesburg : an examination of teachers' awareness en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.rights.holder University of Stellenbosch en_ZA


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