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Disordered Eating Prevalent Among Women

Disordered Eating Prevalent Among WomenA new study suggests maladaptive eating behaviors and attitudes affect 10 to 15 percent of women.

Investigators discovered the behaviors extend beyond anorexia and may be an indictment of societal pressures.

The study is published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

“Our results are disquieting,” says Lise Gauvin, a professor at the Université de Montréal Department of Social and Preventive Medicine.

“Women are exposed to many contradictory messages. They are encouraged to lose weight yet also encouraged to eat for the simple pleasure of it.”

Some 1,501 women took part in the phone survey on eating disorders and disordered eating. Not one participant was classified as anorexic. The average age of these urban-dwelling participants was 31, the majority of respondents were non-smokers and university graduates.

Dr. Gauvin says the study sheds new light on binge eating and bulimia, which are characterized in part by excessive eating accompanied by feelings of having lost control.

“About 13.7 percent of women interviewed for this study reported binge eating one to five days or one to seven times per month,” she says, noting 2.5 percent of women reported forcing themselves to vomit, use laxatives, or use diuretics to maintain their weight or shape.

The investigation also established a link between problematic eating behaviors and self-rated health. In other words, deviant eating behaviors are more likely to occur in women who perceived themselves to be in poor health.

Another finding of the study was that 28 percent of women complete intense exercise twice a month with the sole objective of losing weight or influencing.

“We practice a sport for the pleasure it provides, to feel good, but when the activity is done to gain control over one’s weight and figure, it is indicative of someone who could be excessively concerned about their weight,” says Dr. Gauvin.

“Our data suggests that a proportion of the female population displays maladaptive eating patterns.”

Source: University of Montreal

Disordered Eating Prevalent Among Women

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2016). Disordered Eating Prevalent Among Women. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/12/21/disordered-eating-prevalent-among-women/10320.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 5 Jul 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jul 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.