Onset of dieting in childhood and adolescence: implications for personality, psychopathology, eating attitudes and behaviors of women with eating disorder



This study examined the MMPI-2 and EDI-2 scores of 205 Korean women with eating disorders to identify difference between early and adulthood onset of dieting groups.


101 women had started dieting in their childhood to adolescence (EARLYdieting group) and 104 had started dieting in their adulthood (ADULTdieting group).


Both of the MMPI-2 and EDI-2 scores were significantly different between the two groups before and after adjusting for the duration since the onset of eating disorder. EARLYdieting group scored higher in the MMPI-2 clinical scales 1, 3, 0 and the EDI-2 bulimia scale. EARLYdieting group tended to use a more varied dieting strategy.


The findings suggested that starting to diet early in life may be related to more severe psychopathology and dieting behaviors in adulthood.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Young-Chul Jung.

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Research was supported by a Grant from Yonsei University College of Medicine (6-2014-0142).

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.



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Chung, Y.I., Kim, J.K., Lee, J. et al. Onset of dieting in childhood and adolescence: implications for personality, psychopathology, eating attitudes and behaviors of women with eating disorder. Eat Weight Disord 22, 491–497 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-016-0285-5

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  • Eating disorders
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2
  • MMPI-2
  • Eating Disorder Inventory-2
  • EDI-2
  • Onset of dieting