Assessment of risk of Eating Disorders Among Adolescents in Appalachia

Merry N. Miller, M.D., Ruth Verhegge, R.D., L.D./N., Barney E. Miller, Ph.D., and Andres J. Pumariega, M.D.

Objective:  Students from 5 public schools in east Tennessee in grades 6 through 10 were assessed for their risk of eating disorder.  Method:  The Eating Attitudes Test, a self-administered questionnaire, was given anonymously to 1,302 male and female adolescents.  Results:  The results showed that 19.85 of females and 3.7% of males scored above 29, indicating high risk for development of an eating disorder.  There was also a trend toward increased prevalence of risk in areas that are more rural.  Conclusions:  These findings suggest that the risk for eating disorders may be greater in rural areas than has previously been believed.  This has implications for understanding the etiology of these diseases as well as demonstrating the need for more research in these often underserved areas. 


This article may be read in its entirety in the journal, J. AM. ACAD. CHILD ADOLESC. PSYCHIATRY, 38:4 April 1999, on pages 437 to 443.


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