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Int J Eat Disord. 1999 May;25(4):375-87.

Risk factors for the emergence of childhood eating disturbances: a five-year prospective study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University, California, USA. stice@psy.utexas.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Research suggests that eating problems are often present by preadolescence, yet little is known about the age of emergence of these early eating disturbances or risk factors for these behaviors. Thus, we investigated the timing of onset of disturbed eating during childhood and the predictors of these behaviors.

METHOD:

These aims were addressed by following a sample of children and their parents (N = 216) for the first 5 years of the children's lives.

RESULTS:

Data suggested that the risk for emergence of inhibited eating, secretive eating, overeating, and vomiting increased annually through age 5. Maternal body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin-ideal, dieting, bulimic symptoms, and maternal and paternal body mass prospectively predicted the emergence of childhood eating disturbances. Infant feeding behavior and body mass during the first month of life also predicted the emergence of these behaviors.

DISCUSSION:

Results suggest that eating disturbances emerge during childhood and may be a function of certain parental and child characteristics.

PMID:
10202648
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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