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עמוד בית
Mon, 22.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume

Journal 9, September 2006
pages: 627-629

Eating Attitudes among Adolescents

    Summary

    Background: Israeli youth lead 27 western countries in dieting. The prevalence of eating disorders has been rising in the last 30 years, causing social problems and medical complications.

    Objectives: To examine the prevalence of eating disorders among high school students in a region in northern Israel (Misgav) and to examine the relationship between the parents' employment status and the subject’s eating disorder.

    Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered to collect demographic data. The short version of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) was used to evaluate the subject’s attitudes toward and preoccupation with food, dieting, eating, physical appearance, and personal control over eating.

    Results: Of 360 students approached, 283 (78%) completed the self-report EAT-26. One of every 5 females and one in every 20 males had an abnormal eating attitude. The rate of pathologic EAT-26[1] results, 20.8%, falls within the high range of similar community-based samples of female adolescents. There were no differences in EAT-26 score between students with an employed or unemployed mother; however, there was a trend for higher EAT-26 scores among those whose father was unemployed (21.4% vs. 12.7%, c2  = 0.14).

    Conclusions: The findings support our hypothesis of a relatively high rate of abnormal eating attitudes (as reflected by high EAT-26 score) in this population. Another possible risk factor is having an unemployed father, which warrants further research and attention. Our next step is to introduce an intervention program in the school and to study its effect.



    [1] EAT-26 = Eating Attitudes Test

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