© 2019 Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz. The prevalence of eating disorders is between 0.27% and 6.41% in Spain and between 7.3% and 11.4% in Peru. Much research has been focused on the study of the main risk factors for eating disorders, but little is known about the potential protective factors (such as family meals) in samples of young people that include participants from different countries. This study estimates the contribution of the frequency of family meals on the risk for eating disorders in a large sample of adolescents recruited in Spain and Peru (n=916, with a mean age of 14.6 years old and age range of 12 to 17 years old). Results showed a double interaction parameter between the participants’ sex and origin with the frequency of family meals: the risk for eating disorders is modified specifically for girls from both countries, and adolescents of both sexes born in Spain. This empirical evidence suggests that sex and cultural differences could be related to disordered eating patterns during adolescence and so could act as moderators for the impact of risk and protective factors for this clinical condition. The study of the contribution of the frequency of family meals on the risk of eating disorders in young people should take cultural differences into consideration with the aim of designing more targeted prevention and intervention programs.
- Eating disorder
- Frequency of family meals