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Keywords:

  • weight loss;
  • binge eating disorder;
  • obesity;
  • child development

Abstract

Objective:

To determine whether history of attempted weight loss in childhood (age ≤12 years) is associated with binge eating disorder (BED) and unhealthy weight loss behaviors in adults.

Method:

Cross-sectional analysis from baseline visit data of 588 participants of a clinical trial. Data were collected from survey answers on health status, nutritional status, weight loss history, and weight loss behaviors.

Results:

History of childhood weight loss attempts was associated with high odds of BED in adults (odds ratio [OR] 3.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.8–6.3) and high odds of unhealthy weight loss behaviors (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.2, 2.6). A linear trend was observed in which young age at first attempted weight loss was associated with increased odds of both BED and unhealthy weight loss behaviors.

Discussion:

Weight loss attempts in childhood may be a risk factor for the development of unhealthy eating behaviors and BED in adults. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2010;)