Presence and Severity of Anorexia and Bulimia among Male and Female Omani and Non-Omani Adolescents

Samir Al-Adawi, Atsu S.S. Dorvlo*, David T. Burke, Sabah Al-Bahlani, Rodger G. Martin, Salem Al-Ismaily

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The population of Oman is a heterogeneous mix of nationalities providing a natural setting for studying the cross-cultural differences in the presence and severity of eating disorders as well as an opportunity for evaluating the performance of measurement instruments for these disorders. Method: Disordered eating screening instruments (the Eating Attitude Test and the Bulimic Investigatory Test) were administered to Omani teenagers, non-Omani teenagers, and Omani adults. Results: On the Eating Attitude Test, 33% of Omani teenagers (29.4% females and 36.4% males) and 9% of non-Omani teenagers (7.5% of males and 10.6% females) showed a propensity for anorexic-like behavior. On the Bulimic Investigatory Test, 12.3% of Omani teenagers showed a propensity for binge eating or bulimia (13.7% females and 10.9% males). Among the non-Omani teenagers, 18.4% showed a tendency toward bulimia, with females showing a slightly greater tendency than males. In contrast, barely 2% of Omani adults showed either a presence of or a severity of disorderly behavior with food. Conclusion: Omani teenagers scored significantly higher than other ethnic groups and Omani adults. This finding is discussed in the light of emerging evidence from many parts of the world suggesting that cultural transition, compounded by demographic constraints, plays a significant role in abnormal eating attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1124-1130
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


  • Anorexia
  • Arab-Islamic
  • Bulimia
  • Cross-cultural
  • Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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