Disordered eating among Ontario adults and older adolescents : prevalence, co-morbidities, and healthcare utilization
Master of Arts
SubjectEating disorders (Ontario, Treatment)
Eating disorders (Psychological aspects)
Co-morbidities of disordered eating
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Research has shown substantial co-morbidities of disordered eating with various psychological and medical indices, including alcohol dependence, substance abuse, affective disorders, depression, physical disabilities, obesity, and diabetes. However, most research on disordered eating and psychological and medical co-morbidities has focussed on adolescent, clinical populations, and has originated from the United States and the United Kingdom. The current study investigated the prevalence and co-morbidities of disordered eating in a non-clinical representative sample of Ontario adults and older adolescents, and addressed the issue of healthcare utilization in this population, by analysing data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 1.2-Mental Health and Well-Being (CCHS 1.2). Results indicated a higher level of disordered eating than has been shown in previous studies, and substantial co-morbidities of disordered eating. Results also indicated that many disordered eating individuals did not utilize healthcare services due to negative attitudes toward the healthcare system. Co-morbid respondents were more likely to utilize healthcare services and to report barriers to healthcare services. Treatment options need to address the overlapping nature of disordered eating and other health and psychological factors, and also need to address a more general negative body image, in addition to the more formal problem of disordered eating.