Journal of Food and Nutritional DisordersISSN: 2324-9323

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Subject at Risk for Eating Disorders: Study of a Population of Children Aged between 8 and 13 Years

Subject at Risk for Eating Disorders: Study of a Population of Children Aged between 8 and 13 Years

Background: early onset eating disorders (EOED) are increasing. Epidemiological studies provided that the overall prevalence is estimated at around 10% in the school population. The present study aims to evaluate those at risk for EOED in a population of students from Campania Region, Italy and to identify some correlated factors associated with the disorder (BMI, age, gender, sport/activities involvement, meal-time characteristics).

Method: sample consisted of the students of the primary and secondary schools in six municipalities near the city of Caserta (Campania-Italy). Children eating attitude test-26 (Ch-EAT-26) has been used to collect data on eating disorder behaviors and attitudes.

Results: 137 subjects, 61 female and 76 male composed the sample. Mean age was 115,38 months (SD: 10,4). Mean BMI was 20 (SD: 5). The means score at the ChEAT was 13.25 (SD: 9) and 30 children exceeded the clinical cut-off score (>20). There was no correlation between ChEAT score and BMI and age. Sport/activities outside the school and key figure for the child at meal time were significantly different between the clinical and non-clinical group (Ch-EAT score).

Conclusion: data showed that our sample had a higher risk for EOED compared to the overall prevalence. Dance and physical exercise were confirmed such as risk factors for eating disorders. Finally according to the results of our research, the presence of the mother at the meal- time may be a protective factor for the risk of developing and eating disorder in childhood.

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