Financial problems related to eating disorders among students

Financial problems related to eating disorders among students

According to a research, facing financial difficulties at university could lead to increased risk of developing an eating disorder among female students. The study also found that feeling culpable after having food predicted short- term financial problems for female students, indicating the probability of a 'vicious cycle' occurring.

"There may be a vicious cycle' for these students, where negative attitudes towards eating increase the risk of financial difficulties in the short term, and those difficulties further exacerbate negative eating attitudes in the longer term", said lead author of the study Thomas Richardson from University of Southampton.

Richardson said that it is possible that those who have more chances of having eating disorder think that events of their life, such as financial situation, are not under their control. And this could lead them to limit their eating, as a means of practicing control in other areas of their life, he added.

The researchers also observed the connection between socioeconomic status and eating attitudes. It was found by the researchers that there was a higher persistence of potentially problematic eating attitudes in women from less prosperous families.

More than 400 undergraduate students, from universities across Britain, conducted surveys evaluating attitudes towards food and eating using the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT), family affluence and recent financial difficulties.

The EAT asks for replies to statements like 'I am preoccupied with a desire to be thinner', 'I feel extremely guilty after eating' or 'I have the impulse to vomit after meals'.

The results showed a link between financial situation and eating disorders in women, though not in men. The study has been published online in The International Journal of Eating Disorders.


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