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Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 2004 Jun;54(6):259-63.

[Disturbed eating behaviour among high school and university students].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Institut für Medizinische Psychologie, Klinikum der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.


To develop suitable preventive programs for eating disorders, it is important to examine the prevalence and severity of disturbed eating behaviour in the corresponding risk population as well as to investigate the conditions that might explain their origin and further progression. Based upon this background 736 female and male high school and university students from Eastern and Western parts of Germany were examined. Height and weight were measured objectively. In accordance with the study of Buddeberg-Fischer three groups were defined depending on the total score in the Eating Attitudes Test. 28.5 % of the women and 12.6 % of the men revealed impaired eating behaviour with female high school students being specifically affected (35.3 %). With an increasing impairment, women more often used methods to regulate their weight like diets, restrained eating, or drugs. Participants with disordered eating behaviour were also more likely to show higher scores on the subscales of the Eating Disorders Inventory and a distorted body perception. The feeling of being overweight showed a correlation with the severity of the disturbed eating. With increasing eating problems the correspondence between the real existing BMI and the subjective estimation of the weight decreased significantly. The results of this study clearly demonstrate the high prevalence of disturbed eating behaviour and concerns about weight among female adolescents and young adults. Female high school students should be a special target group for the application of preventive programs. The reported use of drugs in order to lose weight should be discussed more explicitly.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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