According to a study published in the April issue of International Journal of Eating Disorders, education about eating disorders is not reaching overweight youth.
At the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Kathie Loth, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.,and colleagues assessed trends in eating disorders by weight and gender.
They found that the incidence of eating disorders and markers of psychosocial well being remained the same from 1999 to 2010. However, non overweight girls during the same time period were found to have a decrease in chronic dieting, unhealthy weight control and extreme weight control, and their body satisfaction improved. Among non overweight boys, there were similar results, and depression scores declined as well.
“Overall, findings indicate a strong need to ensure that messages about the dangers of disordered eating behaviors are reaching overweight youth,” the authors write. “Obesity prevention interventions should not overlook the comorbid nature of obesity, disordered eating, and poor psychosocial health; prevention programming should address shared risk factors, including dieting, media use, body dissatisfaction, and weight-related teasing.”