Eating disorder behaviors are increasing: findings from two sequential community surveys in South Australia

Hay, Phillipa J., Mond, Jonathan, Buttner, Petra, and Darby, Anita (2008) Eating disorder behaviors are increasing: findings from two sequential community surveys in South Australia. Public Library of Science ONE , 3 (2). pp. 1-5.

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Abstract

Background: evidence for an increase in the prevalence of eating disorders is inconsistent. Our aim was to determine change in the population point prevalence of eating disorder behaviors over a 10-year period.

Methodology/Principal Findings: eating disorder behaviors were assessed in consecutive general population surveys of men and women conducted in 1995 (n = 3001, 72% respondents) and 2005 (n = 3047, 63.1% respondents). Participants were randomly sampled from households in rural and metropolitan South Australia. There was a significant (all p,0.01) and over two-fold increase in the prevalence of binge eating, purging (self-induced vomiting and/or laxative or diuretic misuse) and strict dieting or fasting for weight or shape control among both genders. The most common diagnosis in 2005 was either binge eating disorder or other ‘‘eating disorders not otherwise specified’’ (EDNOS; n = 119, 4.2%).

Conclusions/Significance: in this population sample the point prevalence of eating disorder behaviors increased over the past decade. Cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, as currently defined, remain uncommon.

Item ID: 7078
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: eating disorders
Additional Information:

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ISSN: 1932-6203
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2010 02:50
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110319 Psychiatry (incl Psychotherapy) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 60
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