Objective The aim of this study was to determine whether there were any associations between disordered eating attitudes and behaviors and depression and anxiety among obese adolescents.
Methods A prospective cross-sectional study comprising 80 obese adolescents was performed from November 2013 to September 2014. Disordered eating attitudes were evaluated by the ‘Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q)’ and ‘Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire(DEBQ)’. ‘Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire’ contains four subscales that evaluate restraint, eating concerns, shape concerns, and weight concerns, and the items evaluate eating attitudes of the individual over the last four weeks. ‘Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire’ comprises three subscales which measure restrained eating, emotional eating, and external eating behaviors. Psychiatric examinations were performed for binge eating disorder (BED). Depression was evaluated by ‘Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI)’, and anxiety was evaluated by the ‘State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children’. Mann-Whitney U, Chi-Square and Pearson Correlation tests were used for statistical analysis.
Results Mean age of the subjects was 14.01±1.59 years. Forty-six (57.5%) of the subjects were girls. Mean body mass index was found as 31.29±3.06 kg/m². Twenty adolescents were found to have depression and 23 adolescents were found to have BED. There were significant associations betweeen DEBQ emotional eating score, EDE-Q eating concern score, EDE- shape concern score, EDE-Q weight concern score, EDE-Q total score and CDI score (>19) (p: 0,03; 0,02; 0,007; 0,01; 0,049 respectively). No significant association was found between BED and depression (CDI score >19). At Pearson’s correlation test, positive correlations were found between DEBQ emotional eating score, DEBQ total score, EDE-Q eating concern score, EDE-Q shape concern score, EDE-Q weight concern score, EDE-Q total score and the STAİ score (p = 0.0001). No significant association was found between BED and the STAI scores.
Conclusion In obese adolescents, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors could be associated with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Thus, all adolescents with obesity should be screened for their eating attitudes and behaviors and also for their emotional health.
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