Recognising the Symptoms: How Common Are Eating Disorders in Pregnancy?

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate eating disorder diagnostic status and related symptoms in early pregnancy. METHODS: Pregnant women (n=739), attending their first routine antenatal scan, were assessed using an adapted version of the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Scale (EDDS). Prevalence estimates and eating disorder symptoms were assessed during the first 3 months of pregnancy and, retrospectively, in the 6 to 12 months prior to pregnancy. RESULTS: During pregnancy 7.5% of women met diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder, compared to prepregnancy prevalence of 9.2%. Approximately one quarter (23.4%) of women reported high weight and shape concern during pregnancy; binge eating was endorsed by 8.8%, and 2.3% of women engaged in regular compensatory behaviours. CONCLUSIONS: Eating disorders are more common than previously thought in pregnancy. There is a clinical need for increased understanding of eating disorder symptomatology during pregnancy and for appropriate screening tools to be incorporated into antenatal care. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-344
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • pregnancy
  • eating disorders
  • anorexia nervosa
  • bulimia nervosa
  • perinatal
  • BULIMIA-NERVOSA
  • ANOREXIA-NERVOSA
  • DIAGNOSTIC SCALE
  • WOMEN
  • IMPACT
  • OUTCOMES
  • CHILDREN
  • MOTHER
  • COHORT
  • BIRTH

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