Young girls who binge eat likelier to commit suicide

Washington: A new study suggests that young African American women who binge eat are more likely to commit suicide.

According to a new study of African American girls, by Dr. Rashelle Musci and colleagues from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University in the US, those who experience depressive and anxious symptoms are often dissatisfied with their bodies and more likely to display binge eating behaviours.

These behaviours put them at higher risk for turning their emotions inward, in other words, displaying internalizing symptoms such as suicide.

With the focus on appearance in Western culture, it is not uncommon for many girls and women to have eating behaviour problems.

The most frequently occurring problem eating behaviours are binge eating, or eating large amounts of food in a short period of time and feeling out of control while eating.

This behaviour leads to shame, embarrassment, distress and an attempt to conceal it.

Musci and team investigated how depressive and anxious symptoms may be precursors to binge eating behaviours and suicidal outcomes in 313 black females followed for 11 years, from the ages of approximately 6-17 years old.

Teacher, parent, and child interviews were carried out, examining levels of anxiety, depression, satisfaction with physical appearance, and eating behaviours, particularly binge eating.

Adolescent girls with more binge eating behaviours reported more suicide attempts.

The study is published online in Springer`s journal, Prevention Science.


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