Personal and socio-environmental predictors of dieting and disordered eating behaviors from adolescence to young adulthood: 10-year longitudinal findings
Date Published: 3/15
Aim—To identify personal and socio-environmental factors associated with the persistence of dieting or disordered eating from adolescence to young adulthood, as well as factors associated with the initiation of dieting or disordered eating during young adulthood.
Methods—Participants (n= 4,746) completed EAT-I surveys as adolescents; EAT-III surveys were completed 10 years later by 1,902 of the original participants (1082 females and 820 males).
Results—Study results indicate that there are personal factors, including weight concerns, weight importance, depressive symptoms and body satisfaction, present during adolescence that are predictive of an individual's engagement in dieting or disordered eating behaviors ten years later. For example, among both males and females weight importance was found to be predictive of continued dieting and disordered eating from adolescence through young adulthood. For example, 26.1% of males with low levels of weight concern at baseline reported engaging in persistent disordered eating as compared to 60.4% of males with high levels of weight concern at baseline (Prevalence difference: 34.3, 95% CI: 10.5, 58.1; p<0.01). Parental weight concerns, peer dieting and weight teasing at baseline were not found to be predictive of dieting or disordered eating at 10-year follow-up.
Conclusions—Personal factors identified during adolescence were found to be predictive of both persistent dieting and disordered eating from adolescence into young adulthood, as well as initiation of these behaviors during young adulthood. In particular, weight concerns and weight importance were found to be predictive in most models providing support for inclusion of these factors in adolescent health screening.
K Loth, PhD, MPH, RDa,b,*, R MacLehose, PhDa, M Bucchianeri, PhDa, S Crow, MDb,c, and D Neumark-Stainer, PhD, MPH, RDa
aDivision of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
bDepartment of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota
cThe Emily Program, Minnesota