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Screening High Risk Groups

High risk populations should also be considered for assessment

  • Adolescents (12-25 years)(1)
  • Females 
  • Times of key transition periods such as finishing school, puberty, pregnancy, menopause 
  • Woman with polycystic ovary syndrome or diabetes 
  • Athletes 
  • People seeking help for weight loss 
  • Children and adolescents with diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and illnesses requiring long-term use of steroids 
  • People on a restrictive diet for medical reasons (i.e. IDDM) 
  • People with a family history of eating disorders

Eating disorders often co-occur with, and are preceded, by other mental health conditions. Mixed presentations are very common.

Common co-occurring conditions may include:

  • Depression(2,3)
  • Anxiety, social anxiety(2,3)
  • Neglect, trauma, PTSD and complex trauma(4)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder(5)
  • Bipolar disorder, bipolar effective disorder(6)
  • Alcohol and other substance abuse disorder(7)

Other factors associated with disordered eating include:

  • Social/environmental factors (childhood physical and sexual abuse; parental teasing about weight)
  • Personality traits (perfectionism, impulsiveness)

Targeted screening and case finding is recommended for these groups.

Psychiatrist Prof. Janice Russell discusses conditions that commonly co-occur with eating disorders.

Remember: Butterfly Foundation’s National Helpline is available for anyone seeking information and support around eating disorders and body image issues. Call 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE).