AN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDY OF EATING DISORDERS AMONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ROMANIA by ProQuest

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Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies,
Vol. 10, No. 1, March 2010, 77-86.



       AN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDY OF EATING
    DISORDERS AMONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN
                    ROMANIA
                               Tímea KRIZBAI (KOVÁCS)*
                      University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
         Sapientia-Hungarian University of Transylvania, Targu-Mures, Romania


          Abstract
          The present paper is an epidemiological study of eating disorders in
          Romania that analyses the prevalence of eating disorders in the
          Transylvanian high school population. We surveyed 2396 high school
          adolescents (1140 male, 1256 female), of which 1312 were Hungarian and
          1084, Romanian. The prevalence of anorexia nervosa (AN) was 0.6% in the
          Romanian female sample; no clinical cases of AN were found in the
          Hungarian female sample. The prevalence of subclinical AN was 0.4% in
          the Hungarian female sample and 1.9% in the Romanian sample. The
          prevalence of bulimia nervosa (BN) was 1% in the Hungarian and 1.3% in
          the Romanian female samples. The prevalence of subclinical BN was 0.8%
          in the Hungarian female sample and 0.7% in the Romanian female sample.
          We have not found clinical or subclinical AN in the male sample but the
          prevalence of BN was 0.2% in the Hungarian male sample. The prevalence
          of subclinical BN was 0.3% in the Hungarian male sample and 0.5% in the
          Romanian male sample. Our results draw attention to the presence of eating
          disorders in Romanian adolescents, possibly due to the internalization of
          Western values and beauty ideals.

          Keywords: eating disorders, epidemiology, Romania, Eastern-Central
          Europe, high school students

        Eating Disorders (ED) have often been considered culture–bound
syndromes (Di Nicola, 1990; Prince, 1985; Swartz, 1985). In general, a lower
prevalence of ED and disturbed eating attitudes and behaviors has been found
among non-Caucasian subjects and among developing countries than in Western
industrialized countries (Dolan, 1991). Several studies on this topic have been
conducted in Eastern and Central Europe, particularly in Hungary, the former
Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, Poland and Bulgaria, indicating that EDs are also
wide-spread in this part of Europe.

*
 Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to:
E-mail: kovacstimea@yahoo.com

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