Teasing and disordered eating behaviors in Spanish adolescents

Eat Disord. 2013;21(1):53-69. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2013.741988.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the associations between peer teasing and body dissatisfaction (BD), emotional symptoms, drive for thinness (DT), and abnormal eating behaviors, as well as to analyze the mediating role of gender and body mass index (BMI) in such disorders. We screened 57,997 school children between 13 and 16 years of age. Scores in weight-related teasing and competency-related teasing were higher among girls, as well as overweight or obese individuals. Weight-teasing correlated more strongly with abnormal eating attitudes and behaviors, whereas competency-teasing correlated with emotional symptoms. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that weight-teasing is significantly and independently associated with BD, especially in boys. Multivariate analysis revealed a significant association between weight-teasing and abnormal eating in girls, although its predictive value was very low (Exp(B) = 1.009). Mediation analysis and Path analysis showed the mediating role of DT in this association. Interventions on teasing do not seem to be a priority in eating disorder prevention programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Bullying / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Peer Group
  • Spain / epidemiology