TitleCharacteristics and disturbed/disordered eating behaviors of young adults with and without diet-related chronic health conditions
NameQuick, Virginia Mae (author), Byrd-Bredbenner, Carol (chair), Hoffman, Dan (internal member), Wilson, Terence (internal member), Hallman, William (internal member), McWilliams, Rita (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Chronic diseases--Psychological aspects ,
Young adults--Health and hygiene
DescriptionThe purpose of this study was to comprehensively examine the demographic and psychographic characteristics that have been reported in the literature to be linked with disturbed eating behaviors in healthy young adults (ages 18 to 26 years) and those with selected diet-related chronic health conditions (DRCHCs; i.e., type 1 diabetes mellitus, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases). An online survey assessing salient psychographic and demographic characteristics of disturbed eating was completed by a large, diverse population of young adults (N=2625). The Disturbed Eating Severity (DES) score (developed in this study utilizing existing valid instruments) indicated that nearly 30% of participants were disturbed or highly disturbed eaters. Stepwise regression revealed that the psychographic characteristics of Depression, Pressures from the Media, Dichotomous Thinking, and Weight Teasing (16 items) explained 45 percent of the variance of DES for healthy participants (n=2449). These same characteristics, except Weight Teasing, (13 items), explained 53 percent of the variance for DES in DRCHC participants (n=166). Conditional logistic regression analysis with a 1:4 match (i.e., gender and BMI) of cases (n=164) to controls (n=656) indicated DRCHC participants were twice as likely to have been diagnosed with an eating disorder; and significantly more likely to be a disturbed eater, exercise excessively and misuse medicine to control weight than controls. Additionally, compared with controls DRCHC participants were significantly more likely to report more mentally and physically unhealthy days, value health more highly, score higher on depression and anxiety assessments, recall that childhood mealtimes were less structured and more emphasis was placed on their mother’s weight, and were more frequently weight teased as a child. The severity of disturbed eating in participants with DRCHCs was greater in those who had higher body mass indexes, matured later, lacked access to health insurance, and reported a lower quality of life. Findings from this study call attention to the prevalence of disturbed eating behaviors among young adults and the importance of screening and monitoring disturbed eating behaviors in youth, especially those with DRCHCs, in order to safeguard their health.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Virginia Mae Quick
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.