Associations between adolescent risk for restrictive disordered eating and long-term outcomes related to somatic symptoms, body mass index, and poor well-being

Evelina Landstedt, Anne Hammarström, A. Kate Fairweather-Schmidt, Tracey Wade

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    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To date, no longitudinal, community-based studies have examined the association between disordered eating emerging in adolescence and long-term physical well-being. This study sought to explore the longitudinal associations between risk for restrictive disordered eating (DE-R; those not presenting with binge–purge symptoms) in adolescence and trajectories of functional somatic symptoms (FSS) and body mass index (BMI), and several indicators of poor physical well-being across early- to mid-adulthood, including medication, number of doctor visits, and sick leave. Design: Data were obtained from the Northern Swedish Cohort Study (N = 1,001), a prospective longitudinal study including four time points from age 16 to 42 years. Methods: A cumulative measure of DE-R risk was computed. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify subpopulation trajectories of FSS and BMI. The three-step method for auxiliary variables and logistic regressions were used to assess associations between DE-R and the trajectory classes as well as indicators of poor physical well-being. Results: Three trajectories were identified for FSS. A gender by BMI interaction led to a classification of four BMI trajectories in men, but three in women. The presence of DE-R risk in adolescence increased odds of unfavourable FSS development, increasing BMI in women, and continually low BMI in men. Indicators of poor physical well-being at ages 21, 30, and 42 years were associated with DE-R risk in adolescence. Conclusions: Data spanning nearly three decades suggest that physical well-being impairment is related to DE-R risk measured earlier in life, underscoring the urgency for targeted, gender-sensitive preventive interventions for teenagers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)496-518
    Number of pages23
    JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
    Volume23
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2018

    Keywords

    • adolescence
    • body mass index
    • cohort study
    • disordered eating
    • longitudinal
    • psychosomatic health
    • quality of life
    • youth

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