Disordered eating behaviors and energy and nutrient intake in a regional sample of Brazilian adolescents from public schools

  • Lorena Gasparini Caran
  • Danilo Dias SantanaEmail author
  • Luana Silva Monteiro
  • Gloria Valeria da Veiga
Original Article



To estimate the prevalence of disordered eating behaviors and the association with energy and nutrient intake and nutritional status in adolescents.


A school-based cross-sectional study was performed involving a probabilistic sample of 487 teenagers (aged 15–19 years) from public schools in the Metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Eating Attitude Test and the Bulimic Investigatory Test Edinburgh questionnaires were applied to identify abnormal eating patterns and unusual dietary patterns, respectively. Nutritional status was defined by sex- and age-specific body mass index cutoffs. Energy and nutrient intake were assessed by a 3-day food record. The association between variables was assessed by the prevalence ratio and 95% confidence intervals, Pearson’s Chi-square test, and linear regression.


The prevalence of abnormal eating patterns was 7.4% and that of unusual dietary patterns was 18.9%. Vitamin C intake was higher among girls with abnormal dietary patterns, with a consequent lower frequency of vitamin C deficiency when compared to those with normal dietary patterns. Calcium intake was lower in boys with unusual dietary pattern than in those without this behavior. Excess weight was associated with the presence of unusual dietary pattern in girls (PR: 2.4, 95% CI 1.6–3.5).


The prevalence of disordered eating behaviors was high, mainly in those who were overweight. It was associated with lower calcium intake in boys and with higher Vitamin C intake in girls.

Level of evidence

Level V, descriptive studies.


Disordered eating behaviors Energy intake Nutrients Anthropometry Adolescents 



This study was funded by Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro (grant number E-26/171.404/2002) and by the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (grant number 305464/2008-6).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Lorena Caran declares that she has no conflict of interest. Danilo Santana declares that he has no conflict of interest. Luana Monteiro declares that she has no conflict of interest. Gloria Veiga declares that she has 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.

Informed consent

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


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorena Gasparini Caran
    • 1
  • Danilo Dias Santana
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luana Silva Monteiro
    • 2
  • Gloria Valeria da Veiga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NutritionFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Nutrition CourseFederal University of Rio de Janeiro (Campus UFRJ-Macaé)MacaéBrazil

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