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J Psychosom Res. 1988;32(6):579-84.

The spectrum of eating disorder in adolescence.

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Department of Psychiatry, Royal Free Hospital, London, U.K.


The concept of a spectrum of eating disorder in adolescence ranging from the feeling of being too fat to the syndrome of anorexia nervosa has gained considerable acceptance in epidemiological research into eating disorders. Dieting and the occasional use of more extreme methods of weight control are not uncommon in teenage girls. New findings from a prospective study of London schoolgirls support a view that dieting in adolescence, although for the most part unproblematic, is in some instances a precursor to more extreme methods of weight control and concerns about weight. Being of a higher weight and the presence of neurotic and depressive symptoms were found to be the factors, other than concerns about food and weight, which best distinguished the elements of the eating disorder spectrum.

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