Investigation of the Relationship between Food Neophobia, Body Perception, and Life Satisfaction in University Students
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Keywords:Body Perception, Food Neophobia, Life Satisfaction, Selective Eating, University Students
Aim: The study aimed to examine the relationship between food neophobia, body image and life satisfaction of university students.
Methods: The study was conducted on 983 university students who voluntarily agreed to participate in the study. “Food Neophobia Scale (FNS)”, “Stunkard Figure Rating Scale (SFRS)” and “Life Satisfaction Scale (LSS)” were applied online to the participants with a questionnaire form including socio-demographic characteristics and anthropometric measurements. The data were analyzed with SPSS 24.00 statistical analysis program.
Results: 66.6% of students are women and 33.4% are men. The average age is 20.8±2.6 years, and the body mass index is 22.0±3.8 kg/m2. The participants' FNS scores averaged 37.1±8.6, and the food neophobia was moderate. LSS scores averaged 13.4±4.5 and attendees’ life satisfaction were found to be low. There is no statistically significant difference between the gender and the FNS and the LSS (p>0.05). A statistically significant difference in scores of SFRS has been detected between gender (p<0.05). Based on the FNS scores, neophilic individuals have scores of 13.6±4.6; average individuals have scores of 13.4±4.5 and neophobic have scores of 13.6±4.4. According to the FNS scores, neophilic individuals rated SFRS scores of -0.6±1.4; average individuals rated -0.5±1.2 and neophobic individuals rated -0.5±1.4. No statistically significant differences have been detected in terms of the FNS subdimensions and the LSS and SFRS scores (p>0.05). A negative, moderately statistically significant relationship has been detected between SFRS and BMI (r=-0.591; p=0.000). As BMI increases, body dissatisfaction and the desire to lose body weight increase. A positive relationship between age and BMI is statistically significant (r=0.114; p=0.000). As the age increased, 11.4% increase in BMI values was detected.
Conclusion: In this study, the presence of food neophobia in individuals reduced food diversity, it can negatively affect the intake of the required nutrients and lead to eating behavior disorders. In addition, an increased body mass index increases body dissatisfaction.
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