Depression Can Lead to Binge Eating in Teen Girls

The connection apparently works both ways, scientists say

By on December 20th, 2011 15:26 GMT

Experts from the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health say that teen girls who are depressed are twice more likely to start binge eating than their peers. At the same time, young women who usually binge eat tend to be more likely to develop depression.

In a paper published in the latest issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, the group argues that doctors should ask their teenage female patients to take screening tests for both these conditions, if just one of them is identified, diagnosed, or suspected.

“Binge-eating prevention initiatives should consider the role of depressive symptoms and incorporate suggestions for dealing with negative emotions,” the research team explains. The work was led by epidemiologist Alison Field, ScD, also the senior author of the study, PsychCentral reports.

The data the team used for this research were collected from the nationwide Growing Up Today Study, which is still ongoing.

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