Diet-Treated Chronic Illness May Increase Risk for Disordered Eating

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Treatment of illnesses such as diabetes and celiac disease may lead to disordered eating in children.
Treatment of illnesses such as diabetes and celiac disease may lead to disordered eating in children.

HealthDay News — Interventions for diet-treated chronic illnesses may increase the risk for disordered eating in children, according to a review published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Jenny H. Conviser, PsyD, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify articles that examined the relation between diet-treated chronic illness (diabetes, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and inflammatory bowel diseases) and disordered eating in children.

The researchers found that diet-treated chronic illness was associated with disordered eating and eating disorders. In most studies, diet-treated chronic illness predated disordered eating, except with inflammatory bowel diseases. The risk for poor medical outcomes was heightened with disordered eating and unhealthy weight management practices in children.

"Future research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms that transform standard treatment practices into pathological eating, including characteristics and behaviors of the child, parents/care providers, family, and treatment providers," the authors write.

Reference

Conviser JH, Fisher SD, McColley SA. Are children with chronic illnesses requiring dietary therapy at risk for disordered eating or eating disorders? a systematic review. Int J Eat Disord. 2018;1–27.

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