This cross-sectional survey was conducted by a 2-stage sampling design. A total of 250 women, aged > 18 years, were recruited from 10 randomly chosen private clinics located around Bangkok with a license for possession and utilization of anorectic drugs, the psychotropic substances in category II. Body mass index was calculated at the time of survey. The prevalence of obesity, based on the proposed classification by body mass index in Asian adults, among the participants was 23.2% (95% CI: 18.0%-28.4%). Only 79 (31.6%) and 72 (28.8%) reported having low-calorie diets and increasing physical activities, respectively, both of which were recommended as the main part of comprehensive weight control. Cosmetic purpose was the main reason given by most participants (84.0%) to enter current weight-control treatments. Interestingly, most of the non-obese individuals (82.8%) misperceived themselves as being obese. These findings suggested that the inappropriate use of anorectic drugs among Thai women was a significant public health concern. Misperception of bodyweight status may contribute to the misuse of such anorectic drugs. The result would alarm the Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Public Health to evaluate and revise the measures of the anorectic drug disposal. Further qualitative methods are recommended to investigate for body-image misconception, weight-control behavior among various populations.
Keyword : Anorectic drugs, Bangkok, Private clinic