10-Year-Olds Showing Signs of Bulimia, Study Says

Health & Wellness on 06.17.11


In a study of 16,000 children and teenagers in Taiwan, 13 percent of students who said they'd tried to lose weight recently admitted to making themselves vomit in order to reach their goal -- and researchers found that the habit was more prevalant among boys than girls, reports Science Daily.

The numbers changed slightly based on age group, too: The group with the highest rate of self-induced vomiting for weight loss was the younger kids, with 16 percent of 10-12-year-olds and 15 percent of 13-15-year-olds admitting to the practice. Overall, 16 percent of boys said they'd vomited to lose weight, while only 10 percent of the girls had.

The researchers also found relationships between other habits and the self-induced vomiting: 

When the researchers carried out an odds ratio analysis, they found that using a computer screen for more than two hours a day increased the vomiting risk by 55%, eating fried food every day by 110% and having night-time snacks every day by 51%. They also found that children were less likely to make themselves sick if they slept more than eight hours a night and ate breakfast every day.

Authors of the study, which was funded by Taiwan's Ministry of Education, suggest that "self-induced vomiting is an early sign that children could develop eating disorder and serious physcological problems, such as binge eating and anorexia," says the article.


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Photo: -Paul H-/Creative Commons

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