Upon reaching the university level, all students face a new learning environment, which may be a very stressful experience. If this situation is not handled properly, it can cause stress and other psychological problems, which can affect students' performance and result in unhealthy coping mechanisms like eating disorders. The objective of this research is to inspect the association between stress levels and variations in body mass index among students at Wasit University, in addition to other socio-demographic factors such as student gender, age group, marital status, and college they study. A self-administered questionnaire containing three components: The socio-demographic background, perceived stress scale (comprising 10 questions, widely used to assess stress levels), and social habits were given to 822 students from different colleges at Wasit University. The majority of students had moderate stress 640 participants (77.86%). Very few students were found to have severe stress levels 172 participants (20.92%) and only 10 participants (1.22%) showed low stress levels. Academic-related stress had the highest prevalence in this population (33.7%). Stress was not found significant in any particular body mass index category. More than half of the participants (61%) had normal weight, 24% were overweight, 8% were underweight, and 7% were obese. The results of this study showed that, although the majority of students had moderate stress levels, mostly academic, there is no association between weight and this stress. Stress levels may be related to the type of college attended, fewer hours of studying, and fast-food intake.


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