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Eating alone, parents’ marital status, and use of radio and girls’ magazines were risk factors for eating disorders

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QUESTION: Are parental, mass media, sociodemographic, and psychosocial variables associated with an increased risk of developing an eating disorder (ED) in girls?


Community cohort study with 18 months of follow up.


Navarra, Spain.


2862 girls who were 12–21 years of age {mean age 15.5 y}* and did not have an ED according to DSM-IV criteria.

Assessment of risk factors

Parental characteristics, mass media exposures, and other sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics were assessed by self completed questionnaires. A validated, 36 item scale was used to assess 4 components of self esteem: social, emotional, familial, and academic.

Main outcome measure

Main outcome was …

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  • * Information provided by author.

  • Sources of funding: Fundación Echebano; Spanish Department of Health; Banco Santander-Central-Hispano.

  • For correspondence: Dr A M Martínez-González, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. mamartinez{at}