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Disordered Eating Among Teens Tied to Future Depression

WEDNESDAY, April 18, 2018 -- Disordered eating behavior among adolescents is associated with a significantly increased risk of future depressive symptoms and being bullied by peers, according to a study published online April 11 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Kirsty S. Lee, Ph.D., and Tracy Vaillancourt, Ph.D., both from the University of Ottawa in Canada, assessed longitudinal associations among bullying by peers, disordered eating behavior, and symptoms of depression in 612 participants of the McMaster Teen Study, which began in 2008 when students were in grade 5 (10 years of age). They assessed study participants' disordered eating behavior and depressive symptoms from grades 7 to 11.

The researchers found that bullying by peers was concurrently associated with disordered eating behavior and depressive symptoms at every time point during the five-year period. Furthermore, in both girls and boys, disordered eating behavior was associated longitudinally with depressive symptoms at every time point and bullying by peers at two time points.

"Interventions aimed at reducing problematic eating behavior in adolescents may attenuate the risk of future depressive symptoms and relational problems," the authors write.

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Posted: April 2018

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