Risk Factors for Certain Eating Disorders


An 8-year study singled out low and high body weights.

According to Stanford University researchers, few prospective studies have pinpointed risk factors that predict future eating disorders. Drs. Yuko Yamamiya and Eric Stice recently reported that certain risk factors are connected with anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and purging disorder (PD) (Behav Ther. 2023. doi.org/10.1016. Available online before publication).

The study assessed data from 492 teenage girls ranging from 11 to 15 years of age, who were followed over 8 years. The girls were recruited from 4 public and 4 private middle schools in Texas. The factors followed included: pressure to be thin, thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, negative emotionality, peer and parental social support, modeling pathological eating patterns, and body mass index (BMI). These characteristics were selected because of past findings that the dual pathway model theorizes that pursuit of the thin body ideal leads to body dissatisfaction, which increases the risk for dietary restraint and negative affect (Abnorm Psychol J. 2019. 128:119).

Drs. Yamamiya and Stice hypothesized that the pressure to be thin, thin-ideal internalization, dietary restraint, and increased BMI would predict certain eating disorders, especially BN, BED, and PD.

The two novel findings from the authors’ study were that girls with low body weights are at greater than normal risk for AN.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.