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Ethnic factors in eating disorders. A comparison of the eating attitudes and behaviours characteristic of bulimia nervosa between ethnic groups in a female British urban population

Reiss, David; (1994) Ethnic factors in eating disorders. A comparison of the eating attitudes and behaviours characteristic of bulimia nervosa between ethnic groups in a female British urban population. Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Objective - To determine the level of disturbed eating attitudes and behaviour associated with binge-eating in a population of second generation black British females, and to compare these with an indigenous control group. Design - A self-report eating and health questionnaire was administered. Selected respondents were also administered an eating interview. Subjects - 418 female family planning clinic attenders aged under 40 years. 136 Afro-Caribbean women; 192 Northern European women. Main outcome measures - Level of disturbed eating attitudes and eating behaviour as given by the Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh. Level of general psychiatric morbidity as given by the scaled version of the General Health Questionnaire. Results - The Afro-Caribbean women were found to have both significantly more disordered eating attitudes and a significantly higher level of abnormal eating behaviour than the Northern European women. There were no significant demographic disparities between the two populations. Although the Afro-Caribbean group had a significantly higher mean Body Mass Index this did not mediate the difference in levels of eating attitudes. When compared with the Northern European group more Afro-Caribbean women reported feelings of failure, guilt, abnormality and self-consciousness concerning their eating habits. In addition a higher proportion of Afro-Caribbeans found that their eating habits and urges dominated their lives than Northern Europeans. There was no significant difference between the two groups in general psychiatric morbidity. For the Northern European group disordered eating attitudes were significantly positively correlated with somatic symptoms, social dysfunction, anxiety and insomnia whereas in the Afro-Caribbean group the only significant positive correlation was with social dysfunction. Conclusions - The results of this study support the hypothesis that rapid socio-cultural change is an additional risk factor for bulimia nervosa and indicate that there may be differences in the nature of eating disorder psychopathology between ethnic groups.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: Ethnic factors in eating disorders. A comparison of the eating attitudes and behaviours characteristic of bulimia nervosa between ethnic groups in a female British urban population
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Health and environmental sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109479
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