Navigation Links
Disordered Eating Is Widespread Among U.S. Women

75% say they behave abnormally around food, survey finds

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of young American women report disordered eating behaviors, and 10 percent report symptoms of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, a new survey finds.

The findings -- from an online poll of more than 4,000 women between the ages of 25 and 45 -- found that 75 percent eat, think and behave abnormally around food. The survey was conducted by SELF magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Our survey found that these behaviors cut across racial and ethnic lines and are not limited to any one group. Women who identified their ethnic backgrounds as Hispanic or Latina, white, black or African American and Asian were all represented among the women who reported unhealthy eating behaviors," Cynthia R. Bulik, a professor of eating disorders and director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program, said in a prepared statement.

"What we found most surprising was the unexpectedly high number of women who engage in unhealthy purging activities. More than 31 percent of women in the survey reported that in an attempt to lose weight, they had induced vomiting or had taken laxatives, diuretics or diet pills at some point in their lives. Among these women, more than 50 percent engaged in purging activities at least a few times a week, and many did so every day," Bulik said.

Eating habits that some women think are normal -- such as skipping meals, avoiding carbohydrates and, in some cases, extreme dieting -- may actually be signs of disordered eating, which is often linked with emotional and physical distress.

While there's a widespread belief that eating disorders affect mostly young women, the survey found that women in the 30s and 40s had about the same rates of disordered eating as younger women.

Among the other findings:

  • 67 percent of the women (excluding those with actual eating disorders) are trying to lose weight.
  • 53 percent of dieters are already at a healthy weight and are still trying to lose weight.
  • 39 percent of the women said concerns about what they eat or weigh interfere with their happiness.
  • 37 percent of respondents said they regularly skip meals to try to lose weight.
  • 27 percent said they'd be "extremely upset" if they gained just five pounds.
  • 26 percent have eliminated entire food groups from their diet.
  • 16 percent have dieted on 1,000 or fewer calories a day.
  • 13 percent smoke to lose weight.
  • 12 percent often eat when they're not hungry, and 49 percent sometimes do.

The survey was expected to be published in the May issue of SELF and to be presented May 17 at the Academy for Eating Disorders' International Conference on Eating Disorders, in Seattle.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about eating disorders.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, news release, April 22, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Childhood sleep-disordered breathing disproportionately affects obese and African-Americans
2. Taxpayer Group Offers Blueprint for Beating Medicares Bankruptcy
3. Study shows positive findings in treating patients with advanced hepatitis C
4. Increase in Travel to China Creating New Health and Security Risks
5. Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders and FINDINGbalance Partner to End Poor Self Image
6. Treating PTSD Helps Kids Deal With Loss
7. Cardicas C-Port Anastomosis Systems Facilitate Beating Heart Bypass Surgery in Study
8. Creating an Effective Market Research Group to Generate High-Impact Business Results
9. Metabolic Syndrome Triggered by Overeating, Not Obesity
10. Experimental drug shows promise in treating certain lymphomas
11. Jenni Schaefer, Motivational Speaker, Author Named National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Ambassador
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of ... of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply ... health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood shifts and ... him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a knife on ... say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on the freeway, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, ... (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is ... a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Key Pharma News Issue 52" report to their offering. ... need in influenza treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for ... and growing patient base that will serve to drive considerable ... flu vaccine would serve to cap sales considerably, but development ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Revolutionary ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology ... of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet ... possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... introduces a number of ,world firsts,: , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: