Objective: To compare Omani and western teenagers attending schools in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman and Filipino teenagers residing in Manila, Philippines on indices of deliberate food restriction and dieting behavior. Methods: The sample consisted of 444 students who were assessed using the cross-culturally valid measure, Eating Attitude Test-26, a subscale of Eating Disorder Inventory to gauge the presence of the drive for thinness or 'fat phobia' and the Bradford Somatic Inventory to elicit the presence of somatization. Result: Significant differences in attitudes to eating, body image and somatization between the western and non-western teenagers were found. Conclusion: This paper suggests that trajectories of eating disorder, such as body image disturbances as expressed in fat phobia and somatization, tend to vary from culture to culture and underscore the view that some of the health related behavior among adolescents need to be examined within socio-cultural contexts.
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