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Eat Behav. 2012 Aug;13(3):207-13. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Case-control study of disturbed eating behaviors and related psychographic characteristics in young adults with and without diet-related chronic health conditions.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.


Young adults with diet-related chronic health conditions (DRCHCs; i.e., type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome) face challenges complying with dietary restrictions required to effectively manage their health condition. These restrictions could put them at risk for disturbed eating. The purpose of this study was to determine if young adults with and without DRCHCs differed with regard to disturbed eating behaviors and related psychographics characteristics (i.e., body image attributes, mental disorders, intrapersonal characteristics and sociocultural environment [i.e., media and family]). Each DRCHC participant (cases=166) was matched to 4 healthy participants (controls=664) based on gender and BMI (±0.50 BMI units). Conditional logistic regression analyses indicate cases were twice as likely to have been diagnosed by a healthcare provider with an eating disorder (p=0.08, OR=1.99, CI(90) [1.03-3.83]). Cases were significantly more likely to use Inappropriate Compensatory Behaviors to manage their weight, i.e., excessive exercise (p=0.04, OR=1.41, CI(95) [1.02-1.94]) and misuse medication (p=0.04, OR=1.14, CI(95) [1.00-1.29]) than controls. Depression and anxiety were significantly higher, and health status was significantly poorer in cases compared with controls. DRCHC participants were less likely to report feeling body image pressures from the media, placed a greater value on their health, used social diversion, and recalled a greater emphasis being placed on their mothers' weights and mealtimes being less structured than control participants. Findings indicate that nutrition and other healthcare professionals should incorporate screening DRCHC patients for disturbed eating behaviors and eating disorders in their standards of care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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