The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Article first published online: 20 NOV 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 209–214, April 2008
How to Cite
Forman-Hoffman, V. L. and Cunningham, C. L. (2008), Geographical clustering of eating disordered behaviors in U.S. high school students. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 41: 209–214. doi: 10.1002/eat.20491
This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 20 NOV 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 SEP 2007
- Department of Veterans Affairs. Grant Number: MRP 04-220-1
- Veterans Health Administration
- Health Services Research and Development Service
- eating disorders;
- social conformity
The aim of this study was to determine if eating disorder behaviors geographically clustered among U.S high school students.
Our sample consisted of 15,349 high school students who responded to the 1999 Youth Risk Behavior Study (YRBS). Weight control and eating disordered behaviors under investigation included dieting, exercising, fasting, using diet pills, and purging to control weight in the last 30 days. We calculated pairwise odds ratios (PWORs) to determine the degree of within-county clustering.
Among all participants, adjusted analyses revealed that having any weight control or eating disorder symptom, severe restricting, dieting, exercising, and diet pill use each showed significant clustering (p < .05). Purging did not significantly cluster by county. The magnitude of clustering was stronger for female students than male students.
The significant clustering of weight control and eating disorder behavior in U.S. high school students confirms evidence of a social contagion effect of eating disorders. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2008