Friday, February 21, 2020

Tendency Toward Negative Moods in Preadolescence Linked to Eating Disorders in Young Adulthood

Negative affectivity, a tendency toward feeling negative emotions such as anger or sadness, may increase the risk of developing eating disorders in young adulthood, a study in the International Journal of Eating Disorders has found.

Annelies E. van Eeden, M.D., of Parnassia Psychiatric Institute in the Netherlands and colleagues used data from the Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a Dutch community cohort study tracking youth from preadolescence to adulthood. Over the course of TRAILS, participants had assessments at ages 11, 13, 16, 19, 22, and 26 years. Their temperaments were assessed at age 11 using the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire–Revised, and their BMIs were measured at every visit. At ages 19, 22, and 26 years they were screened for eating disorders.

Participants with negative affectivity at age 11 generally weighed more than those who did not have negative affectivity, and they were roughly 30% more likely to have been diagnosed with an eating disorder by the time they were 19 years old. Those with greater negative affectivity also gained more weight in adolescence and young adulthood than their peers.

“This could induce unhealthy … strategies in order to manage the weight and consequently lead to the development of disordered eating and eating disorders,” the researchers wrote.

For related information, see the Psychiatric News articles “Binge-Eating Risk Factors in Adolescents Vary by Socioeconomic Status” and “Researchers Estimate Prevalence of Eating Disorders Among Children.”

(Image: iStock/tetmc)

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