Dieting history in obese youngsters with and without disordered eating

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Abstract

Objective:

This article examines the relationship between the emergence of disordered eating and the history of weight and dieting in obese youngsters.

Method:

Both child and parent reports were obtained from 40 obese disordered eaters (objective bulimic episodes, n = 20; objective overeating episodes, n = 20) and 40 obese matched controls aged 10–16 years.

Results:

No significant differences between subsamples with regard to weight and dieting history were found. In dieters, it was shown that overweight onset preceded dieting onset, which in turn preceded dietary restraint onset. Despite some discordance regarding precise onset ages of different behaviors, parent and child re ports revealed the same temporal sequences.

Conclusion:

A developmental pathway from weight problems through dieting to binge eating is plausible for a subgroup of obese children. Convergence between parent and child reports supports the assumption that children's reports are a viable means of monitoring dieting and weight behaviors. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006; 39:721–728

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