Body Image Disorders Among Preteens with Type I Diabetes

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
March/April 2001 Volume 12, Number 2
©2001 Gürze Books

Eating disorders are more common among teenage girls with type I diabetes mellitus than among their age-matched peers, and can lead to poor metabolic control and vascular complications. In a study reported at the recent Eating Disorder Research Society meeting in Prien am Chiemsee, Germany, 35% of 90 girls 9 to 13 years of age with Type I diabetes were found to have mild to moderate weight and shape-related body image disturbances. Patricia A. Colton, MD and colleagues also reported that the disturbances were severe in 13% of the girls. Ten percent of the girls had recently used markedly restrained eating and intense exercise to control their weight; 3% reported binge-eating, and 1% manipulated their insulin dosage. Girls with BMIs in the top 25% for age were most likely to report severe body image disturbances and disturbed eating behavior. None of the girls met the criteria for an eating disorder. The long-term goal of the study is to determine whether these disturbances are only transient or early signs of more serious eating problems.

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