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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1448: Assessment of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors toward Eating Disorders among Adolescents in Italy

24 Apr 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1448: Assessment of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors toward Eating Disorders among Adolescents in Italy

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16081448

Authors:
Francesco Napolitano
Francesco Bencivenga
Erika Pompili
Italo Francesco Angelillo

The objectives of this survey were to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward eating disorders among adolescents in Italy. The survey was undertaken between May and June 2017 among a random sample of 420 adolescents aged 14–20 years. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire. Only 22.8% correctly knew both the definition of anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Female, overweight or obese individuals, and who had at least one parent with a college degree or higher level of education were more likely to have this knowledge. More than one third (38.8%) had a fear of getting fat. Female, overweight or obese individuals, who did not know the definition of anorexia and bulimia nervosa, who avoided eating when they were hungry, and who always and usually were engaged in dieting behavior were more likely to have a fear of getting fat. Only 10.1% and 11.9% always and usually were engaged in dieting behavior, and 40.8% never did so. Respondents who usually/always had a strong desire to be thinner and who had a fear of getting fat were more likely to be engaged in dieting behavior. There is an urgent need to inform Italian adolescents about eating disorders, and healthcare workers may play a crucial role in distributing eating disorder-related knowledge.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health