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.
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