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Disordered eating in Sami and non-Sami Norwegian populations: the SAMINOR 2 Clinical Survey

  • Kirsti Kvaløy (a1) (a2), Marita Melhus (a1), Anne Silviken (a1) (a3), Magritt Brustad (a4), Tore Sørlie (a5) (a6) and Ann Ragnhild Broderstad (a1) (a7)...

The present study aimed to investigate disordered eating (DE) among Sami compared with non-Sami residing in northern Norway.


In a cross-sectional design, stratified by sex and ethnicity, associations were tested between DE (Eating Disturbance Scale; EDS-5) and age, education level, BMI category, anxiety and depression, physical activity and consumption of snacks.


The SAMINOR 2 Clinical Survey (2012–2014) based on the population of ten municipalities in northern Norway.


Adults aged 40–69 years; 1811 Sami (844 male, 967 female) compared with 2578 non-Sami (1180 male, 1398 female) individuals.


No overall significant ethnic difference in DE was identified, although comfort eating was reported more often by Sami individuals (P=0·01). Regardless of ethnicity and sex, symptoms of anxiety and depression were associated with DE (P<0·001). Furthermore, DE was more common at lower age and higher BMI values. Education levels were protectively associated with DE among Sami men (P=0·01). DE was associated (OR, 95% CI) with low physical activity in men in general and in non-Sami women (Sami men: 2·4, 1·4, 4·0; non-Sami men: 2·2, 1·4, 3·6; non-Sami women: 1·8, 1·2, 2·9) and so was the consumption of snacks (Sami men: 2·6, 1·3, 5·0; non-Sami men: 1·9, 1·1, 3·1; non-Sami women: 2·1, 1·3, 3·4).


There were no significant differences regarding overall DE comparing Sami with non-Sami, although Sami more often reported comfort eating. There were significant sex and ethnic differences related to DE and physical activity, snacking and education level.

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