B3800 - Body Mass Index trajectories across childhood and young adulthood and risk for disordered eating in young adulthood - 07/06/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Naomi Warne | University of Bristol
Eleanor Wade, Dr Helen Bould, Professor Golam Khandaker, Dr Ben Perry
Title of project: 
Body Mass Index trajectories across childhood and young adulthood and risk for disordered eating in young adulthood.
Proposal summary: 

Disordered eating behaviours (such as fasting, purging, binge-eating and excessive exercise) are common in young adulthood, and have the potential to cause serious long-term harm. Identifying risk factors that precede the onset of disordered eating in young adulthood is important for our understanding of how disordered eating develops. Furthermore, these risk factors may be useful for identifying individuals at high risk of developing disordered eating and for designing effective treatments.
Although diagnosis for an eating disorder often depends on Body Mass Index (BMI) and this can be a barrier for treatment, there is less evidence on whether changes in BMI across childhood and adolescence precede later disordered eating. Previous research using the ALSPAC sample (Perry et al. 2021) has found 5 different BMI trajectories from 1-24 years: stable average, gradually decreasing, puberty-onset minor increase, puberty-onset major increase and persistently high BMI. Compared to those with a stable average BMI, those with a puberty-onset major increase trajectory had higher risk of a depressive episode and depressive symptoms. However it is unclear whether these BMI trajectories are differentially associated with subsequent disordered eating.
This study investigates the associations between BMI trajectories across childhood up to age 24 with disordered eating behaviours at age 24. This study will improve our understanding of how BMI can lead to the development of disordered eating behaviours.

Impact of research: 
This project will lead to a greater understanding of how differences in BMI across childhood and adolescence are associated with disordered eating behaviours in young adulthood.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 7 June, 2021
Epidemiology, Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia, BMI