Friday, April 18, 2008

Eating disorders may be contagious

Go to Reuters original
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A study of U.S. high school students provides additional evidence that eating disorders may be contagious.

In a study, researchers found that binging, fasting, diet pill use and other eating disorder symptoms clustered within counties, particularly among female students.

"These findings confirm the strong social influences on female adolescents in the U.S. to be thin, sometimes using unhealthy behaviors to achieve this goal," the researchers write in the current issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Research in the 1980s in female college students first suggested that disordered eating behavior spread through "social contagion," demonstrating that binge eating clustered within sororities, Dr. Valerie L. Forman-Hoffman and Cassie L. Cunningham of the VA Iowa City Health Care System note in their report.


No comments: