Dating Violence Raises Risk of Abnormal Dieting

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
July/August 2001 Volume 12, Number 4
©2001 Gürze Books

Teens who encounter unwanted sexual advances or violence during dating have an increased risk of turning to abnormal dieting afterward, according to a recent study at the University of North Dakota (Int J Eat Disord 2001:29:166).

A total of 2,629 girls in grades 9-12 at 40 schools in North Dakota completed voluntary and anonymous, usable questionnaires about dating violence, unwanted sexual advances, purging, and use of diet pills. About 10% of the girls reported using purging behavior, and 12% reported using diet pills during the past 30 days. Fourteen percent of the girls had experienced a violent dating situation or unwanted sexual contact. In similar studies, sexual contact rate ranged from 16% to 33%.

The odds of purging were 3 to 4 times higher for girls who reported a violent sexual incident than for girls who did not report such experiences. Between 20% and 25% of girls who encountered some form of sexual violence also reported purging in the past 30 days. Eighteen to 22% of girls who reported sexual violence had consumed diet pills during the past 30 days. The associations between sexual violence and purging remained significant even after controlling for family environment.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed