Tuesday, November 20, 2007

First problems with eating, later with mood

eating disorder
A study on timing of psychic problems in teen girls shows that eating disorders come first, later followed by depression.

Eating disorder and depression go together. This is not new, several studies have shown it. But what comes first, which problem predicts what, has always been unclear - up to this new prospective study on depression and eating disorder symptoms among adolescent girls.

More than seven hundred teen girls from the Minnesota Twin Family Study have been examined at ages eleven, fourteen and seventeen, approximately. For depressive as well as for eating disorder symptoms, the earliest occurrence of low levels have been assessed. It came out that eating disorder symptoms tended to occur earlier than depressive symptoms, and that both were linked. That is, eating disorders are typical precursors of depression.

Eating disorders, in turn, do not develop out of nothing. Besides skinny models in magazines and on billboards, health campaigns that favour a controlled eating style may well promote them.

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Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/belljar/47129230/

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