Disordered eating behaviors up for overweight young adults

July 8, 2018

(HealthDay)—Young adults at a weight status classified as overweight or obese have increased prevalence of disordered eating behaviors (DEBs), according to a study published online June 11 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Jason M. Nagata, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the prevalence of eating disorders and DEBs using cross-sectional data obtained from Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health for young adults ages 18 to 24 years.

The researchers found that 48.6 percent of the 14,322 young adults in the sample were at a weight status classified as overweight/obese. Those at a weight status classified as overweight/obese reported a higher rate of DEBs than young adults at a weight status classified as underweight/normal weight (females: 29.3 versus 15.8 percent; males: 15.4 versus 7.5 percent). After adjustment for all covariates, the odds of engaging in DEBs were increased for females versus males (odds ratio, 2.32), Asian/Pacific Islanders versus whites (odds ratio, 1.66), homosexual or bisexual versus heterosexual (odds ratio, 1.62), high school or less versus more than (odds ratio, 1.26), and obesity versus normal weight (odds ratio, 2.45).

"The high prevalence of DEBs particularly in at a classified as overweight or obese underscores the need for screening, referrals, and tailored interventions for DEBs in this population," the authors write.

Explore further: Binging, purging and fasting more common in overweight, obese young adults

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