Background: Mothers of eating disordered adolescents were more likely to have an eating disorder. However, some contradictory findings were reported because some studies failed to find this association. Aims: The main objective of the study was to determine the association of eating attitudes in adolescent girls with eating attitudes in their parents. Methods: A sample of 969 girls from Osona County (Barcelona, Spain) and their parents participated in the study. Girls completed the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) and their weight and height were measured. Parents completed questionnaire with self-reported weight and height, demographic characteristics and EAT-26. Results: 10.1% of girls showed high EAT-26 scores (> 20 points), indicating abnormal eating attitudes. Female adolescents were almost three times more likely to have abnormal eating attitudes if their mothers scored high on EAT-26 (OR = 2.8; 95% CI 1.5-5.2). Other significant predictors of high EAT-26 scores were age and obesity. Conclusions: An abnormal eating attitude of the mother was identified as a potential risk factor in the development of eating disorders in female adolescents.

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International Journal of Social Psychiatry
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Yanez, A., Peix, M., Atserias, N., Arnau, A., & Brug, H. (2007). Association of eating attitudes between teenage girls and their parents. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 53(6), 507–513. doi:10.1177/0020764007078350