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PLoS One. 2008 Feb 6;3(2):e1541. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001541.

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

Author information

1
School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia. p.hay@uws.edu.au

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.

PMID:
18253489
PMCID:
PMC2212110
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0001541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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