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Analysis of eating disorders among 12–17 year-old adolescents in the island of Gran Canaria

Abstract

A clinical pathology characterized by disturbances in eating behaviour has been often associated to socio-cultural factors that influence the psychopathology of these disorders. The alarming increase in the number of teenagers with eating disorders underscores the need to promote research on the underlying causes, and to identify high-risk subpopulations in need of effective targeted treatment. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of eating disorders among an adolescent population of both sexes on the island of Gran Canaria. The sample was composed of adolescent boys and girls aged 12 to 17 years old (N=1364) who resided in different municipalities of Gran Canaria. The EAT-40 questionnaire was administered (cut-off point at 30), and body mass index measurements were assessed. The mean BMI for the 1364 subjects was 21.8 Kg/m2; 15% were underweight, and of these at least 1% obtained BMI values below 15 Kg/m2. Thus, 13.4% of adolescents were potentially at risk of eating disorders according to the EAT-40 questionnaire. Moreover, the BMI was not significantly correlated to the EAT-40 and was not considered a sufficient parameter to establish the incidence of eating disorders.

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Correspondence to C. Mateos-Padorno PhD.

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Mateos-Padorno, C., Scoffier, S., Polifrone, M. et al. Analysis of eating disorders among 12–17 year-old adolescents in the island of Gran Canaria. Eat Weight Disord 15, e190–e194 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03325298

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Keywords

  • Eating disorder
  • Eating Attitude Test (EAT-40)
  • prevalence
  • Gran Canaria