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An ongoing cross-sectional study of the prevalence of eating disorders in freshman college students



An ongoing cross-sectional study of the prevalence of eating disorders in freshman college students



International journal of eating disorders 10(6): 667-677



Our third cross-sectional survey designed to elicit DSM-III inclusion criteria for bulimia was completed by 1836 students, 97.2% of those surveyed. Based on operationalized criteria, 4.7% of females reported a current eating disorder diagnosis. These included bulimia (4.3%), bulimia nervosa (2.2%), bulimia with weekly binge/purging behavior (1.1%), and anorexia nervosa (0.1%). Current bulimia was reported by 0.1% of males and current bulimia nervosa by 0.3%. Those women with current bulimia were more likely to report a history of treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse than those bulimic women in remission. The data suggest that fear of loss of control over eating is an important part of the diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa, while fear of being fat is less apt to differentiate between bulimic and nonbulimic women. The desire for low weight was more pronounced in bulimic female students in the current survey than in previous surveys. The percentage of women who reported a history of bulimia with weekly binge eating and purging went from 1% in 1980 to 3.2% in 1983 and to 2.2% in the current survey indicating that the prevalence for this disorder may have peaked and may be declining.

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Accession: 002299586

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DOI: 10.1002/1098-108x(199111)10:6<667::aid-eat2260100605>3.0.co;2-k


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