Self-reported symptoms of binge-eating disorder among adolescents in a community-based Danish cohort-A study of prevalence, correlates, and impact

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Objective Binge-eating disorder (BED) was established as a diagnosis in 2013 with the DSM-5 and has been included in the ICD-11 in 2018. In adulthood, BED is prevalent and correlated with somatic and mental health problems. Less is known about BED in adolescence, although this age period could represent a window of opportunity for early intervention. This study aimed to investigate the 1-year prevalence, correlates, and impact of BED symptoms in a community sample of adolescents.

Method We included 1,404 girls and 1,105 boys from the 16-years-follow-up of the Copenhagen Child Cohort study, CCC2000. The adolescents self-reported on BED symptoms, weight-status, body perception, mental health problems, and self-rated impact of food and weight-related thoughts and behaviors. Information about socio-economic factors and hospital diagnosed psychiatric disorders were obtained from national registries.

Results A total of 8.5% reported weekly overeating with loss of control (10.9% of girls, 4.8% of boys), and 2.6% (3.6% of girls, 1.2% of boys) reported symptoms consistent with BED according to the DSM-5. Regardless of sex, BED was correlated with concurrent overweight, body-dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and mental health problems, especially emotional, but also with problems of behavior, inattention, and peer-relations, and with high self-rated impact on everyday life. Immigrant background and lower socio-economy were potential risk factors for BED in boys in this sample.

Discussion BED was prevalent and correlated with mental health problems and overall impact among adolescents in this community sample, indicating the need for clinical attention and intervention towards binge-eating disorder in the adolescent period.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)492-505
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • adolescents, binge-eating disorder, community-based, impact, mental health problems, overweight, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, PSYCHIATRIC-DISORDERS, MENTAL-HEALTH, RISK-FACTORS, EPIDEMIOLOGY, STRENGTHS, QUESTIONNAIRE, ASSOCIATIONS, COMORBIDITY, OVERWEIGHT

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