Psychological Medicine

Research Article

The struggle to be thin: a survey of anorexic and bulimic symptoms in a non-referred adolescent population

Agnes Whitakera1 c1, Mark Daviesa1, David Shaffera1, Jim Johnson, Sari Abramsa1, B. Timothy Walsh and Kevin Kalikowa1

a1 Division of Child Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York


Ninety-one per cent of a county-wide high school population (N = 5596) completed the Eating Symptoms Inventory (ESI) and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT). Being female, older and heavier are far more strongly associated with anorexic and bulimic symptoms than is social class. ESI approximations of the DSM-III criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia suggest that while both conditions are rare (less than 1%), bulimia is the more prevalent disorder.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Agnes Whitaker, Box 78, 722 W. 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.