Journal List > Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr > v.15(Suppl 1) > 1080752

Kim: Eating Disorders and Adolescent Health


Eating disorders impact on both physical and mental health with a profound disruption in the quality of life of adolescent. The prevalence of these disorders has been increasing in East Asia and over 10% of young people have some eating disorder related traits. Cultural changes such as the internalisation of the thin ideal predispose to eating disorders. The core features of eating disorders are the pursuit of weight loss and the resultant low body weight or compensatory behavior. The nutritional compromise of eating disorders, particularly anorexia nervosa, results in disruption in menstrual cycle, increased medical risks, and an eventual increase in mortality. The mortality rate of anorexia nervosa is 12 times the rate of healthy age-matched women. The underlying medical causes of the increased mortality rate were cardiovascular, endocrine, hematopoietic, autoimmune, respiratory, and urogenital in nature. High frequencies of medical complications in eating disorders emphasizes the importance of recognizing eating disorders as a medical risk in adolescent in Korea. Successful approaches to prevention against eating disorders have already been developed for adolescent in Europe. Public health interventions targeted at schools responsible for the care of adolescent (parents, teachers, college tutors) would be useful in Korea.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
Diagnostic Criteria for Eating Disorders

Adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. [9], A binge is characterized by the consumption of an unusually large quantity of food during a discrete period of time, with lack of control over eating.

Table 2
Markers of Nutritional and Cardiovascular Decompensation that Signal the Need for Increased or Urgent Care in People with Eating Disorders [20]

FBC: full blood count, LFT: liver function test. *The instructions for the squat testare that the patients squats on her/his haunches and has to stand up without, if possible, using his/her hands.

Table 3
Similarities between Risk Factors for Eating Disorders and Obesity [23]


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