Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Comparative study of the prevalence of abnormal eating attitudes among Arab female students of both London and Cairo Universities

Mervat Nassera1 c1

a1 Academic Department of Psychiatry, Royal Free Hospital, London


Two matched samples of Arab female undergraduate students attending London and Cairo Universities were recruited to determine the relative prevalence of abnormal eating attitudes and the effect of exposure to Western culture upon this prevalence. A positive response was reported on the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-40) in 22% of the students in the London group and 12% in the Cairo group, indicating that abnormal attitudes occur in this non-Western population. Six cases among the London sample fulfilled diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa, but no cases of either anorexia or bulimia were identified in the Cairo sample.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr M. Nasser, Department of Psychiatry, Royal South Hants Hospital, Graham Road, Southampton SO9 4PE