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Revista de investigación clínica

Print version ISSN 0034-8376


UNIKEL-SANTONCINI, Claudia et al. Risky eating behaviors in student population in México City: trends 1997-2003. Rev. invest. clín. [online]. 2006, vol.58, n.1, pp.15-27. ISSN 0034-8376.

Objective. The main purpose of this study was to identify the trends of risky eating behaviors among student population in Mexico City in the period 1997-2003 and its relationship with sex age and family head educational level. Methods. Data from the 1997 (N = 9,755), 2000 (N = 3,286) and 2003 (N = 3,062) Drug and Alcohol Prevalence in Student Population of Mexico City Survey's were analyzed. These are representative data of students of junior high, high school and technical schools in Mexico City, with a mean age of 14.5 years (SD - 1.9). Eating behaviors were assessed with a brief questionnaire developed following DSM-FV diagnostic criteria. Risky eating behaviors and the number of risk indicators were compared by sex, age and family head educational level. Results. The results showed an overall increase in the percentage of males (from 1.3% in 1997 to 3.8% in 2003), and females (3.4% in 1997 to 9.6% in 2003) who showed 3 or more risky eating behaviors. The analysis by age groups showed an increase in all but 16-17 year old males, and in all females, being 12-13 year old males and 18-19 year old females the most affected. Regarding the type of risk indicators in both sexes and across all age groups, an increase in preoccupation towards gaining weight and the use of purging and restrictive methods to loose weight was observed. Body weight over estimation decreased in males, while in females showed an increase along with binges in the 2000 survey but showed a decrease after that (2003 survey). The relationship between the family head educational level and risky eating behaviors did not show a regular pattern among males, while a positive relationship between both variables was found among females. Conclusions. A first overall view of the situation of risky eating behaviors among adolescent students in Mexico City and the changes observed in the period studied. An increase of these behaviors was observed along the period of study, being younger males and older females the most affected, as well as women whose family head showed higher educational level.

Keywords : Adolescents; Eating behavior; Eating disorders; Mexico.

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