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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • weight concerns;
  • adolescents;
  • epidemiology;
  • Iran

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) as well as the prevalence of weight concerns and weight loss behaviors among schoolgirls in Tehran, Iran.

Method

A two-stage approach was used. We screened a large sample of adolescent girls aged 15–18 (n = 3,100) with a Persian translation of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26). Girls who screened positively were further evaluated with the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Inventory and a supplementary clinical interview.

Results

Results showed a lifetime prevalence of 0.9% for AN, 3.2% for BN, and 6.6% for the partial syndrome. Body dissatisfaction and a desire to be thin were common in this population.

Discussion

This study suggests that the prevalence of eating disorders among female adolescents in Teheran is comparable to prevalence rates reported by studies in Western societies, and somewhat higher than what has been reported in other non-Western societies. © 2000 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 28: 265–271, 2000.