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The prevalence of eating disorders in a Hungarian secondary school population over a period of 10 years

The prevalence of eating disorders in a Hungarian secondary school population over a period of 10 years

Orvosi Hetilap 151(15): 603-612

Eating disorders have a variety of medical complications, some of them being irreversible and dangerous, and significant psychiatric comorbidity. Eating disorders occur mainly in the female gender. Contradictory data are available concerning the time trends in the prevalence of eating disorders. Objective of the present study was to examine how the prevalence of eating disorder syndromes and their symptoms changed during a period of ten years. The study carried out in 1989 (Túry et al, 1991; Szabó & Túry, 1991) was repeated in the 1998-1999 school year. The same questionnaire was used for the assessment of eating disorders in both studies. The questionnaire that included the Eating Attitudes Test, the Bulimia Cognitive Distortion Scale, and the Eating Behavior Severity Scale was distributed in 9 secondary schools in 6 towns. In all, 2731 students participated in the study (593 males and 2138 females, 932 in the first phase and 1799 in the second phase). The methods used for weight reduction and pathological questionnaire scores are more prevalent in female students. The prevalence of these eating-related pathological phenomena increased over a ten-year period. The prevalence of both clinical and subclinical anorexia and bulimia got significantly higher in the females during the study period (form 0.12% to 0.68%). The results of the study indicate that the prevalence of symptoms and syndromes of eating disorders has risen significantly among female Hungarian secondary school students during the study period. The increased prevalence rates are likely to be associated with the growing significance of physical appearance and the ideal of slenderness in this age group.

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Accession: 056442810

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 20348058

DOI: 10.1556/OH.2010.28742

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