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Nutrients 2012, 4(5), 413-424; doi:10.3390/nu4050413

A Community-Based Study of Enduring Eating Features in Young Women

School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia
School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia
School of Public Health, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia
School of Sociology, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Orange NSW 2800, Australia
School of Psychological Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne VIC 3086, Australia
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2012 / Revised: 5 April 2012 / Accepted: 18 May 2012 / Published: 24 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maladaptive Eating Attitudes in Youth)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [181 KB, uploaded 25 May 2012]


We conducted a prospective exploration of the temporal course of eating disorder (ED) symptoms in two cohorts of community women. One hundred and twenty-two young women (Cohort 1) identified in a general population based survey with ED symptoms of clinical severity agreed to participate in a 5-year follow-up study. A comparative sample (Cohort 2) of 706 similar aged self-selected college women (221 with disordered eating) was recruited one year later. Both ED groups were given a health literacy package in the first year. ED symptoms, health related quality of life, and psychological distress were assessed annually with the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, the Short Form—12 Health Survey and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, respectively. Forty percent (Cohort 1) and 30.3% (Cohort 2) completed questionnaires at each year of follow-up. In both groups, there was early improvement in ED symptoms which plateaued after the first year, and participants retained high EDE-Q scores at 5 years. BMI increased as expected. Mental health related quality of life scores did not change but there were small improvements in psychological distress scores. The findings suggest little likelihood of spontaneous remission of ED problems in community women. View Full-Text
Keywords: binge-eating; help-seeking; treatment barriers; bulimia nervosa binge-eating; help-seeking; treatment barriers; bulimia nervosa
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hay, P.J.; Buettner, P.; Mond, J.; Paxton, S.J.; Quirk, F.; Rodgers, B. A Community-Based Study of Enduring Eating Features in Young Women. Nutrients 2012, 4, 413-424.

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