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Abnormal eating attitudes in London schoolgirls — a prospective epidemiological study: outcome at twelve month follow-up

  • G. C. Patton (a1), E. Johnson-Sabine (a1), K. Wood (a1), A. H. Mann (a1) and A. Wakeling (a1)...
Abstract
Synopsis

The occurrence and course of eating disorder in a large representative population of 15-year-old London schoolgirls has been assessed using a two-stage survey methodology. Attempts to control weight were common and often transient. Dieting was in the great majority of girls found to be a benign practice without progression to more extreme concerns about food and weight. However, a small proportion of dieters did become cases and formed the majority of new cases found at follow-up. The relative risk of dieters becoming cases was eight times that of non-dieters. Many factors conventionally associated with eating disorder were associated more with attempting weight control than caseness. These included pre-morbid personality, pre-morbid obesity and family weight pathology. Other factors, including social class, career choice and psychosexual development, had no association either with attempting weight control or caseness.

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Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr G. C. Patton, Academic Department of Psychiatry, Royal Free Hospital, Pond St., London NW3 2QG.
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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