Katz B. Gender and disordered eating of adolescents in Israel. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2014;51(2):137-44. PMID: 25372564.

Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2014;51(2):137-44.

Gender and disordered eating of adolescents in Israel.

Katz B(1).

Author information:
(1)Department of Criminology, Western Galilee College, Israel.

BACKGROUND: Studies from recent decades indicate that the ideal of thinness can be discerned in a growing dissatisfaction with weight and an increase of the prevalence of disordered eating at an earlier age of onset.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of disordered eating (above the cutoff point of 30 on the EAT-40) among a normal population of school students in Israel.

METHODS: The study sample was composed of Israeli (Jewish) adolescents in grades 7 to 12 from four schools. Of 326 students approached (181 females and 142 males), 323 completed the self-report EAT-40 and a structured questionnaire that provided socio-demographic and other information.

RESULTS: 41.5% of adolescents were not satisfied with their weight and 45.3% want to lose weight. A third of the sample engages in dieting behavior frequently; 6.1% of the adolescents have pathologic EAT-40 scores, with about three times as many girls as boys exhibiting disordered eating; 8.2% of the girls and 2.8% of the males show disordered eating (Ø=0.115, p <0.05). Among adolescents who are dissatisfied with their weight there are 7.6 times more with pathologic EAT scores than those who are satisfied with their weight (Ø=0.220; p <0.01). There are 10.8 times more pathologic EAT scores among adolescents who wish to lose weight than among those who do not wish to reduce their weight (Ø=0.237; p<0.01). No significant differences in pathologic EAT scores were found among adolescents from different ethnic backgrounds or levels of religious observance.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of disordered eating among adolescents in Israel is higher than other countries in general, and among males in particular. There is a need for increased efforts to detect adolescents at risk for developing eating disorders, with the assistance of clinical tools. In addition an educational policy for disordered eating prevention should be instituted.

PMID: 25372564  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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