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Keywords:

  • season of birth;
  • disordered eating;
  • female college students

Abstract

Objective

Earlier studies have suggested relationships between season of birth and eating disorders. These studies have found that women with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are more likely to be born in the first 6 months rather than in the last 6 months of the year. The current study examines relationships between season of birth and general disordered eating in female college students.

Method

Subjects included 155 female twin and triplet participants from the Michigan Twin Study. Disordered eating was assessed with subscales from the Minnesota Eating Disorders Inventory (M-EDI) and the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (EDEQ). Both a two-group comparison and a three-group comparison of M-EDI and EDEQ scores were conducted. The two-group comparison comprised subjects born between January and June and subjects born between July and December. The three-group comparison comprised subjects born between January and April, between May and August, and between September and December.

Results

No significant differences in M-EDI or EDEQ scores were observed in any of the group comparisons.

Discussion

The lack of significant differences across birth periods suggests that season of birth effects may not generalize to general disordered eating characteristics in nonclinical samples. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 343–348, 2003.