The use of appetite suppressants among health sciences undergraduate students in Southern Brazil
To investigate the prevalence of appetite suppressant use among health sciences students in Southern Brazil.
Undergraduate students (n=300) from seven health science undergraduate courses of the Universidade de Caxias do Sul completed a questionnaire about the use of substances to suppress appetite.
A significant percentage (15%; n=45) of research participants used appetite suppressants at least once in their lives. The most commonly used substances were sympathomimetic stimulant drugs (5%), including amfepramone (3.3%) and fenproporex (1.7%). The lifetime use of appetite suppressants was more prevalent among Nursing (26.7%) and Nutrition (24.4%%) students. There was no reported use of appetite suppressants among medical students. The use of appetite suppressants was significantly more prevalent among women. The majority of those who used these substances did so under medical recommendation. Most of users took appetite suppressants for more than 3 months.
Lifetime use of appetite suppressants was substantial, being sympathomimetic stimulant drugs the most commonly used agents. Students enrolled in Nursing and Nutrition courses presented a significantly higher prevalence of lifetime use of appetite suppressants.