Patterns of Disordered Eating and Body Perception Among the Dietetics Student Social Network

Teresa Rose Schwendler


Eatingdisorders are prevalent in dietetics students, which may be due to theirdetermination to meet the “healthy standards” of their profession.1Peergroups or relational ties that support thin ideals may also encouragedisordered eating behavior.2 Dietetics majors have been found toadopt restrained eating habits despite, having an adequate understanding ofproper nutrition.3 In addition, college breeds a very peer centeredenvironment, which can create both a positive and negative pressures.4 Amethod of investigating the influence of social environments or relational tieson a behavior is social network analysis.5  This study aims to determine if nutritionstudents adopt restrictive eating behaviors based on their social circle. Thedata will be gathered using social network analysis, which will provide avisual of the relational connections between nutrition students. This analysiswill help to determine if clusters of students display certain eating behaviorsand if there is one person that appears to initiate certain eating behaviors.The research will also strive to determine if eating disorder tendenciesincrease as nutrition students grow in comprehension of nutrition and dietetics.


Nutrition Student; Social Network; Eating Behaviors

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