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Binge Eating a Sign of Poor Mental Health among Youth with Diabetes

According to a study, binge eating  or overeating symptoms are associated with a reduced quality of life (QoL), a higher prevalence of melancholy and anxiety, and poor clinical outcomes in teenagers with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Binge Eating a Sign of Poor Mental Health among Youth with Diabetes
Image: A Teenager Binge Eating | InStyleHealth


The study included 506 T1D teenagers (mean age 14.7 years, 49 percent girls) with data from the Danish Registry for Diabetes in Childhood and Adolescence. All of the subjects filled out questions about eating problems, quality of life, and emotional challenges. They donated blood, which was then used to calculate HbA1c.

Boys and girls were similar in age, diabetes duration, and HbA1c, while females had a higher body mass index standard deviation score (BMISDS). 40 (7.9%) of the teenagers showed signs of overeating, 91 (18%) showed signs of subclinical binge eating, and 40 (7.9%) showed signs of clinical binge eating. Boys were more likely to overeat (11.2 percent vs. 4.5 percent), whereas girls were more likely to have clinical binge eating (13.4 percent vs 2.7 percent).

Adolescents with clinical unhealthy eating symptoms had the lowest overall and diabetes-specific QoL, as well as the highest levels of anxiety and depression symptoms and HbA1c. Moreover, this group had a BMISDS score that was on the cusp of being elevated.

The outcomes highlight the necessity of screening T1D patients for binge eating symptoms, as well as assessing QoL and emotional status in accordance with the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes guidelines.

Source: Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2021;doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2021.109150

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