Sex differences in health-related quality of life impairment associated with eating disorder features: a general population study

Int J Eat Disord. 2013 May;46(4):375-80. doi: 10.1002/eat.22097. Epub 2013 Jan 28.


Objective: To determine sex differences in the prevalence and impact of specific eating disorder features on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Method: A general population sample of men (n = 1,479) and women (n = 1,555) completed interviews that assessed HRQoL (Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, SF-36), and current regular occurrence of binge eating, extreme dietary restriction, purging, and overevaluation of weight or shape.

Results: Men constituted a substantial minority (23-41%) of participants reporting eating disorder features. Objective binge eating had a greater impact on mental health impairment in men versus women, whereas the overevaluation of weight or shape had a greater impact on general and mental health impairment in women compared with men.

Discussion: Eating disorder features that impact on HRQoL are now common in men; however, the impact of specific features may differ between sexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Characteristics*