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Occurrence of Eating Disorders among Adolescents Studied


According to a report posted online March 7 that will appear in the July print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry eating disorders are widespread in the general U.S. adolescent population and are associated with other mental health disorders, role impairment, and suicide.

The Study

Sonja A. Swanson, Sc.M., of the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined eating disorders with data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adolescents.

The Study included interviews with ten thousand one hundred and twenty-three female’s ages thirteen to eighteen years old. The objectives of the study included determining the lifetime and 12-month prevalence of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder and sub eating disorders; examining their sociodemographic and clinical correlates and patterns of co morbidity with other mental disorders.

The Results

The study found that majority of females had a mental disorder aside from eating disorder (which is also classified as a mental disorder.) “Although the majority of adolescents with an eating disorder sought some form of treatment, only a minority received treatment specifically for their eating or weight problems.”


The study provides key information concerning the epidemiology of eating disorders in the U.S. adolescent population. This information can be used to help curb future occurrences of eating disorders and other mental health disorders in females.