Eating Behaviors: Prevalence, Psychiatric Comorbidity, and Associations With Body Mass Index Among Male and Female Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Nutrition | Psychiatry
OBJECTIVE: There is a dearth of research examining eating behaviors, such as binge eating, among male and female veterans. The present study evaluated the prevalence of self-reported eating problems as well as associations with body mass index and psychiatric disorders among male and female Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
METHODS: Participants were 298 male and 364 female veterans (M = 33.3 +/- 10.6 years old) from the Women Veterans Cohort Study, a study of male and female veterans enrolled for Veterans Affairs care in New England or Indiana. Veterans self-reported on emotion- and stress-related eating, eating disorder diagnoses, and disordered eating behaviors. Diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, and alcohol abuse were obtained from administrative records.
RESULTS: Female veterans reported higher rates of eating problems than did their male counterparts. Women and men who engage in disordered eating had higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder, and women who engage in disordered eating had greater rates of alcohol abuse than did female veterans without eating disordered behaviors.
CONCLUSIONS: Disordered eating may be a significant issue among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and veterans with eating problems are more likely to have comorbid mental health conditions that further increase their health risks.
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Citation: Mil Med. 2016 Nov;181(11):e1650-e1656. Link to article on publisher's site
Slane, Jennifer D.; Levine, Michele D.; Borrero, Sonya; Mattocks, Kristin M.; Ozier, Amy D.; Silliker, Norman; Bathulapalli, Harini; Brandt, Cynthia; and Haskell, Sally G., "Eating Behaviors: Prevalence, Psychiatric Comorbidity, and Associations With Body Mass Index Among Male and Female Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans" (2016). University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. 1352.