The Effects of Smartphone and Internet Gaming Addiction on Eating Attitudes Among University Students

Psychiatry Investig. 2022 Jan;19(1):1-8. doi: 10.30773/pi.2021.0230. Epub 2022 Jan 7.

Abstract

Objective: Smartphone addiction is a public health problem increasing with the technologic developments. It particularly affects the university students negatively in terms of psychological, physical, academic achievement and social relations. This study aims to investigate the relation of eating attitudes between smartphone addiction and internet gaming disorder, also the relation of smartphone addiction with obesity.

Methods: This cross-sectional and prospective study is consisted of 358 volunteer university students. Socio-demographic data form, Short Form of Smartphone Addiction Scale (SF-SAS), Eating Attitude Test (EAT), and internet gaming disorder scale were administered to the participants.

Results: Mean age of the participants was 22.27±3.10 years and 59.8% (n=214) were female. In terms of the variables "body mass index, body weight, faculty of the student, economic status of the family, and the people they live with together" were significantly different from controls. Also "monthly mobile phone invoice, EAT score, SF-SAS scores" were statistically different. A significant difference was found among "body weight groups" in terms of both EAT score and SF-SAS. According to the linear regression model variables of "gender, smartphone addiction, and school year" were determined as the predictors for EAT.

Conclusion: Our current study has revealed the relation between smartphone addiction and eating attitudes, and obesity. Smartphone addiction may lead to an increase in body weight, by affecting eating attitudes. Therefore, the effect of eating behavior disorders in the emergence of the smartphone addiction should be considered. Multi-disciplinary solutions are required to prevent this addiction that may increase over time.

Keywords: Eating attitudes; Internet gaming disorder; Obesity; Smartphone addiction.