Time trends in obesity and eating disorders

Authors

  • Henrik Daae Zachrisson MSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Mental Health, Oslo, Norway
    • Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Mental Health, P.O. Box 4404, Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway
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  • Einar Vedul-Kjelsås MD, PhD,

    1. NTNU, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Trondheim, Norway
    2. St. Olavs University Hospital, Division of Psychiatry, Research and Development, Trondheim, Norway
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  • K. Gunnar Götestam MD, PhD,

    1. NTNU, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Trondheim, Norway
    2. St. Olavs University Hospital, Division of Psychiatry, Research and Development, Trondheim, Norway
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  • Arnstein Mykletun PhD

    1. Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Mental Health, Oslo, Norway
    2. University of Bergen, Research Centre for Health Promotion, Bergen, Norway
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Abstract

Objective:

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for eating disorders, and has been increasing in the normal population over the last decades. This study examines whether the increase in obesity is followed by an increase in prevalence of eating disorders in the general female population.

Method:

We compared the prevalence of eating disorders and obesity in two nationally representative surveys in Norway in 1991 (n = 1,537) and 2004 (n = 1,467). Eating disorder diagnoses were obtained using the self-report questionnaire survey for eating disorders (SEDs) at both time points.

Results:

The prevalence of overweight and obesity has doubled from 1991 to 2004, whereas the prevalence of eating disorders has been stable. Obesity was strongly associated with eating disorders both in 1991 and 2004.

Conclusion:

Despite the strong association between obesity and eating disorders, the increase in obesity is not followed by an increase in eating disorders. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2008

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