Moderating Role of Physical Activity for the Psychological Determinants of Eating Behaviors Affecting BMI Among Young Adolescents

  • Syeda Rabia Shaheed National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Jamil A Malik
Keywords: vigorous activity, moderate activity, BMI, Cognitive Restraint, physical activity


Purpose: The study is aimed to investigate the moderating role of physical activity affecting BMI, relationship between psychological factors eating habits and BMI, and mainly the overall interaction between study variables. Method: The sample comprises of 366 young adolescents between the age ranges of (18-25) years. Sample was collected from colleges and universities. Data was collected on Three factor eating questionnaire (TEFQ), Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). BMI values are estimated by given heights and weights of individuals. Results: Results revealed a positive relationship between BMI positively relates with depression (r=.27, p <.01) anxiety (r=.23, p <.01) stress, (r=.27, p <.01) DASS total, (r=.34, p <.01) uncontrolled eating, (r=.19, p <.01) emotional eating (r=.43, p <.01) cognitive restraint (r=.32, p <.01) and sitting (r=.24, p <.01) whereas it negatively relates with walk (r= -.34, p <.01) vigorous activity, (r= -.25, p <.01) moderate activity (r= -.32, p <.01) and total Physical activity. (r= -.42, p <.01). Results also revealed that depression, anxiety and stress total score significantly and positively relates with uncontrolled eating (r=.32, p <.01) emotional eating (r=.26, p <.01) cognitive restraint, (r=.21, p <.01) sitting (r=.32, p <.01) whereas negatively and significantly relate with walk, (r= -.14, p <.01) moderate activity(r= -.15, p <.01) and total physical activity (r= -.20, p <.01). Results revealed that sitting moderates relationship between emotional eating and BMI (β=.13, p=.00), cognitive restraint and BMI (β=.16, p=.00) and uncontrolled eating and BMI (β=.16, p=.00). Results also revealed that vigorous activity moderates relationship between emotional eating and BMI (β= -.08, p=.05). Finally study revealed that Physical activity did not moderate relationship between distress and BMI. Sitting did not moderate relationship between distress and BMI.

Conclusion: Present study highlights the importance of physical activity and psychological factors which directly or indirectly affects eating behaviors and BMI.


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