Prevalence & Correlates of Eating Disordered Behaviors Among
Prevalence & Correlates of Eating
Disordered Behaviors Among Students at
the University of WI-Eau Claire
Sarah Hammon, Catherine Filtz, Kaci Kufalk, Amanda Meyer, Mallory Nitsch,
P.J. Kennedy, Allen Keniston,
Result and David Jewett
The prevalence rate for EDs on the
Eating disorders (EDs) are a concern
UWEC campus is consistent with
among college counselors. Prevalence
rates of diagnosed
EDs on college
of 1-3% (Franko et al., 2005).
campuses range between 1-3% (Franko
et al., 2005). Locating and treating this
group as early as possible is key to
treatment (Hoyt & Ross, 2003). But little
is known about correlates of eating
disorders that might aid their
identification and treatment (Hoyt &
Some characteristics do correlate with
EDs. For example, depression correlates
positively with EDs and eating disordered
behavior (Levey & Dixon, 1985). Body
shape satisfaction correlates positively
with EDs and eating disordered behavior
(Cooper, Taylor, Cooper, & Fairburn,
1987). Women are less satisfied with
their body shape and consider
themselves more overweight than men
(Rolls, Fedoroff, & Guthrie, 1991).
We sought to determine whether
depression, self-esteem, and body shape
satisfaction measures as well as standard
demographic descriptors correlated with
a diagnosed ED and a measure of eating
disordered behavior among college
students at UWEC. Our goal was to
1)A measure of eating disordered
assess and target possible preventative
behavior will correlate with measures of
or therapeutic interventions.
depression, self-esteem, and body
2)Individuals with a diagnosed ED (past
or present) will score higher on a
measure of disordered eating.
3)Women will score significantly higher
on a measure of disordered eating than
Participants were 102 males and 276
(M = 20.65 years, SD = 3.23 years) who
volunteered from a random sample of
2,000 undergraduate students.
Materials and Procedure
A web-based survey program was
used to collect data. Included were a
consent form, Rosenthals Self-Esteem
Scale, the Zung Depression Scale, the
Body Shape Questionnaire, the EDE-Q4,
questions about demographics, and a
debriefing form that offered evidence of
The EDE-Q4 consists of questions
about disordered eating behavior, such
as On how many days out of the past 28
days have you been deliberately trying
to limit the amount of food you eat to
influence your shape or weight? The
seven-point scale ranges from No Days
Participants reported their sex, age,
height, weight, major, cumulative GPA.,
and number of class absences during the
Fall semester of 2008.
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or
Body shape positively correlates
with the EDE-Q4 r (378) = .91, p <
Depression negatively correlates
with the EDE-Q4 r (355) = -.38, p
Self-esteem negatively correlates
with the EDE-Q4 r (378) = -.33, p
Individuals who have a present or
past diagnosed ED (M = 2.99, SD
= 1.19) scored significantly higher
on the EDE-Q4 than those without
a diagnosis (M = 1.44, SD =
1.28), t (376) = -4.51, p < .001.
Women scored significantly higher
on measures of disordered eating
behavior (M = 1.67, SD = 1.32)
than men (M = 0.85, SD = 0.98),
t(243) = 6.59, p < .001. This is
consistent with past research
finding women are under more
pressure to remain thin than men
(Rolls, Fedoroff, & Guthrie, 1991).
A medium-large correlation
between BMI and both EDE-Q4 and
Body Shape scores occurred at the
p < .001 level. As BMI scores rise
so do scores of disordered eating
and dissatisfaction with ones
1957.34 1, 353
EDE-Q4 Score = 1.08 (BS) - .707
A small change in Body Shape Satisfaction Score (BS) will have an influence on EDE-Q4 score,
whereas a small change on the Zung Depression Inventory (ZD) or Self Esteem Measure (SE) will
have virtually no influence on EDE-Q4.
Due to the length of the survey and
the personal content of the
measures, completion rates were
low. Also, there was little variability
in the population as a whole.
EDs remain a concern for college
counselors. The current study was
used to identify the prevalence and
the correlates of EDs on the UWEC
campus. Three percent of our
sample reported a past or present
diagnosis, but only .003% of the
student population has utilized
EDs in Clinical
Hoyt, W. D., &
able to efficiently
assist the at-risk
population through preventative
Rolls, B. J., Fedoroff, I. C., & Guthrie, J. F.
(1991). Gender differences in eating
behavior and body weight regulation.
Health Psychology, 10, 133-142.
We thank the Office of Research and
at UWEC for
their support along with Counseling
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