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Body image and unhealthful eating attitudes in adolescent girls with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: A model for prevention

25 July 2003


Eating disorders and Type I diabetes are serious illnesses with typical disease onset occurring in late childhood or early adolescence. Individuals with Type I diabetes may be exposed to certain factors that increase the risk of developing an eating disorder. Unhealthful eating attitudes and behaviors in adolescent girls with Type I diabetes can create serious physical and psychological consequences that may be difficult to reverse once set into motion. Research on the comorbidity of eating disorders and Type I diabetes suggests there may be a subset of adolescent girls who may be particularly vulnerable to developing an eating disorder. This dissertation reviews the current literature on Type I diabetes in relation to eating disturbances in adolescent females. Additionally, factors that influence body image are also discussed and current models on the development of eating disorders are presented. Through an integration of the literature, a model for the prevention of eating disorders in adolescent girls with Type I diabetes is proposed.


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