Disordered eating in three different age groups in Cyprus: a comparative cross-sectional study

Public Health. 2018 Sep;162:104-110. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2018.05.024. Epub 2018 Jul 9.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate disordered eating behaviours (DEBs) in different age groups in a Cypriot non-clinical population sample.

Study design: Comparative cross-sectional study.

Method: A total of 1716 participants from the Cyprus component of the I.Family study completed the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26). The EAT-26 score ≥20 was used to define participants at risk for DEBs. Participants were divided according to age: adolescence (12-18 years old), young adulthood (25-45 years old) and middle adulthood (46-60 years old).

Results: Mean EAT-26 total scores were higher for middle adulthood men and women compared with the two younger age groups. Young adulthood women had the highest percentage of behavioural symptoms of DEBs: binge eating (35%) and laxatives/diet pills/diuretics (12%) compared with the other age groups. Men and women in young adulthood had the highest percentage of participants with EAT-26 scores ≥20. In logistic regression analysis, age group did not prove a significant predictor of DEB risk in a model adjusting for sex, body mass index and physical activity.

Conclusion: DEB can present at any age and was not confined to adolescence.

Keywords: Adulthood; Bulimia and food preoccupation; Dieting; Eating Attitudes Test-26; Oral control.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cyprus / epidemiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged