Epidemiology and risk factors of eating disorder in adolescence; a review

M. L. de Portela Santana, H. da Costa Ribeiro, M. Mora Giral, R. M. Raich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Currently, there is a higher occurrence of biopsychosocial diseases, especially eating disorders, involving different body systems and aspects related to the individual and their social relations. Objective: Addressing current and relevant issues about the prevalence, incidence and risk factors for anorexia and bulimia nervosa in adolescence. Methods: Search the databases: MEDLINE, SciELO and LILACS for studies published on the epidemiology and risk factors for eating disorders in adolescence. Results: The highest incidence of anorexia and bulimia nervosa among girls in the middle and final phase of adolescence. Factors that increase the risk for the onset of eating disorders in adolescents are: genetics, body changes during puberty, the vulnerability of adolescents to the ideals of thinness, social pressures to be thin, body image dissatisfaction, restrictive diet, depression and low self-esteem. However, it is suggested that in different cultures, eating disorders may come from a number of conditions unrelated to compensatory behaviors or weight, but the shape of the body. Conclusions: Several factors determine the occurrence of anorexia and bulimia nervosa in adolescence, however, there is no consensus how these factors interact in this complex process, which indicates the need for further investigations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-401
JournalNutricion Hospitalaria
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2012


  • Adolescents
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk factors


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