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Abstract

Resulting from poor body image, college students are a vulnerable population for developing somatoform disorder symptomology; implementing body modification behaviors related to an obsession with more athletic body types, increasing muscular tissue, and decreasing adipose tissue mass. College students in nutrition related majors have a higher risk for developing eating disorders when compared to their peers in other majors. There is a scarcity of research on the prevalence of somatoform disorder symptomology among students majoring in nutrition, despite the comorbidity of somatoform and eating disorder symptomology. 304 students enrolled in Family and Consumer Science (FACS) courses at California State University, Sacramento, were surveyed to assess differences in the prevalence of subclinical eating and somatoform disorder symptomology between students majoring in FACS with different concentrations, including nutrition and food, dietetics, family studies, and fashion and merchandising. Results found that students concentrating in nutrition and food and family studies reported more body dissatisfaction than other FACS concentrations. When compared to a cohort of students not majoring in FACS, FACS students shared more concerns with their body sizes, reporting a desire to increase muscularity and decrease adiposity to be more physically attractive. FACS students also reported more supplement use and body modification behaviors like exercise that interfered with their personal, social, academic or professional responsibilities.

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