Skip to Content

Teen Stress and Disordered Eating

Can the breakup in a relationship, the divorce of your parents, or the death of a loved one prompt teens and young adults to engage in disordered eating habits? Yes, according to findings from the Eating Among Teens research study at the University of Minnesota. ccording to the study, 32 percent of women and 20 percent of men who had three or more “stressful life events” also had eating disorder behaviors.

This study compared “stressful life events” among adolescents and young adults with the prevalence of eating disorder habits among them. Stressors can include a severe automobile accident, credit card debt or the death of a loved one.

Katie Loth, the study’s lead author, said people who work with teenagers and adolescents aren’t always in touch with various stressors in their lives. “People are always aware of these life events, whereas they’re not always aware of how people are coping with them,” she said.