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J Behav Med. 2012 Oct;35(5):500-8. doi: 10.1007/s10865-011-9378-9. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Associations between hurtful weight-related comments by family and significant other and the development of disordered eating behaviors in young adults.

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Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA.


Research has found that weight-teasing is associated with disordered eating in adolescents. This study expands on the existing research by examining associations between hurtful weight comments by family and a significant other and disordered eating in young adults. Data come from 1,902 young adults (mean age 25) who completed surveys in 1998, 2003 and 2009. Correlations were examined between receiving hurtful comments from family and significant others, and four disordered eating behaviors in young adulthood, adjusting for prior disordered eating and prior teasing. Disordered eating behaviors were common in young adulthood, and were associated with hearing hurtful weight-related comments from family members and a significant other, for both females and males. Disordered eating prevention activities, which include messages about the potential harm associated with hurtful weight-related comments, should be expanded to address young adults, and programs may want to target relationship partners.

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