PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes emerging evidence for the relationship between food insecurity and eating disorder (ED) pathology, outlines priorities for future research in this area, and comments on considerations for clinical and public health practice.
RECENT FINDINGS: Among adults, food insecurity is cross-sectionally associated with higher levels of overall ED pathology, binge eating, compensatory behaviors, binge-eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa. Evidence for similar relationships among adolescents has been less robust; however, compared to studies of adults, there have been substantially fewer studies conducted in adolescents to date. Emerging evidence consistently indicates that food insecurity is cross-sectionally associated with bulimic-spectrum ED pathology among adults. Findings emphasize the need for ED research to include marginalized populations who have historically been overlooked in the ED field. Much more research is needed to better understand the relationship between food insecurity and ED pathology and to determine effective ways to intervene.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Vivienne Hazzard’s time for this research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (grant number: T32MH082761, PI: Scott Crow). Laura Hooper’s time was supported, in part, by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (grant number: T71MC00006-40-00, PI: Renee Sieving). Katie Loth’s time was supported, in part, by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (grant number: K23HD090324-01A1, PI: Katie Loth).
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- Disordered eating
- Eating disorders
- Food insecurity
- Health inequities
- Marginalized populations
- Social determinants of health