Is Ramadan fasting correlated with disordered eating behaviours in adolescents?

Düzçeker Y., AKGÜL S., Durmaz Y., Yaman M., Örs S., Tüzün Z., ...More

Eating Disorders, vol.29, no.1, pp.74-87, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10640266.2019.1642032
  • Journal Name: Eating Disorders
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, SportDiscus
  • Page Numbers: pp.74-87
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: No


This study aimed to examine the cross-sectional relationship between Ramadan fasting as a spiritual factor with prolonged hunger and disordered eating behaviors. The study was conducted in June 2016 (11th–29th days of Ramadan) and consisted of 238 fasting and 49 non-fasting adolescents. Risk of disordered eating was evaluated using the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) and Three Factor Eating Questionnaire-R18 (TFEQ-R18). Body image dissatisfaction was rated with Stunkard’s Figure Rating Scale (FRS). Nutritional status was assessed using a 24-hour dietary recall. There was no significant difference between energy intake, EAT-26 and TFEQ-R18 scores (except the emotional eating sub-scores) between the groups. FRS revealed that the comparisons of their “ideal” and self were not significantly different between the groups whereas the gap between the figures they think healthy and closest to self was significantly higher amongst non-fasting adolescents. Two-hundred and two (97.5%) adolescents reported fasting for religious purposes whereas only 8 (3.4%) for losing weight. The EAT-26 total scores were in the pathological range in 39 (16.8%) adolescents who fasted for religious purposes. This study suggests that motivation of adolescents to fast during Ramadan was due to spiritual decisions rather than weight control or other factors and Ramadan fasting was not correlated with disordered eating behaviors or body image dissatisfaction.