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Cause, effect, or both?

Posted Oct 08 2009 10:00pm
Here's something interesting to chew on: Disordered eating in adulthood is associated with reported weight loss attempts in childhood

Researchers found that early childhood weight loss attempts (in children 12 and under) was significantly correlated to both binge eating disorder and unhealthy weight loss behaviors in adulthood.

This got me thinking about the whole chicken and egg dilemma. Did the children who attempted to lose weight at a young age already have dysregulated eating behaviors? Or did the dieting behaviors ultimately result in adult disordered eating? Perhaps it's both, and the dieting further whacked out a slightly dysregulated system.

Regardless, the data have me worried. Considering the increasing number of children who are dieting or otherwise intentionally restricting their food intake, this could mean that the one in 35 American adults with binge eating disorder is only the tip of the iceberg.
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