Association between excessive body fat and eating-disorder risk in adolescents: the AFINOS Study

Ana Maria Veses, David Martínez-Gómez, Sonia Gómez-Martínez, Belén Zapatera, Óscar Luis Veiga, Ascensión Marcos
Medicina Clínica 2011 May 21, 136 (14): 620-2

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Overweight and obesity, together with eating disorders, are important public health concerns in adolescence. The aim of this study was to assess the association between excessive body fat and the risk of eating disorders.

SUBJECTS AND METHOD: The sample consisted of 195 adolescents (97 girls) aged 13 to 18 years. Eating-disorder risk was evaluated by applying the SCOFF questionnaire. Body mass index, sum of 6 skinfolds, waist and hip circumferences and waist-hip and waist-height ratios were used to assess body fat.

RESULTS: 24.7% of girls and 17.3% of boys were at risk of eating disorders, and 31.6% of boys and 21.6% of girls presented overweight (including obesity) according to Cole's cut-off points. Those adolescents classified above the 85th percentile on all the anthropometric measurements, as well as overweight adolescents, were at increased risk of developing an eating disorder (OR: 2.8-4.30, all p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Regardless of the anthropometric measurements used, adolescents with excessive body fat showed a higher risk of having eating disorders than those with normal weight.

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