IS-2 Scholar, Ellen Fitzsimmons-Craft, PhD (2020 Cohort) was senior author of the recently published work in Eating Behaviors – The relation of food insecurity to eating disorder characteristics and treatment-seeking among adult respondents to the National Eating Disorders Association online screen.
Background: Food insecurity (FI), characterized by limited or uncertain access to adequate food, has been associated with eating disorders (EDs). This study explored whether FI was associated with ED behaviors, ED diagnosis, current treatment status, and treatment-seeking intentions among adults who completed an online ED screen.
Methods: Respondents to the National Eating Disorders Association online screening tool self-reported demographics, FI, height and weight, past 3-month ED behaviors, and current treatment status. Respondents were also asked an optional question about treatment-seeking intentions. Hierarchical regressions evaluated relations between FI and ED behaviors, treatment status, and treatment-seeking intentions. Logistic regressions explored differences in probable ED diagnosis by FI status.
Results: Of 8714 respondents, 25 % screened at risk for FI. FI was associated with greater binge eating (R2Change = 0.006), laxative use (R2Change = 0.001), and presence of dietary restriction (R2Change = 0.001, OR: 1.32) (ps <.05). Having FI was associated with greater odds of screening positive for a probable ED or as high risk for an ED (ps [removed].05).
Conclusions: Findings add to existing literature supporting a relation between FI and EDs. Implications include a need to disseminate EDs screening and treatment resources to populations affected by FI and to tailor treatments to account for barriers caused by FI.
Read the full article at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2023.101776