Factors associated with eating disorders in adolescents: a systematic review

Factors associated with eating disorders in adolescents: a systematic review


  • Candy Laurine Suarez-Albor
  • Maura Galletta a:1:{s:5:"en_US";s:22:"University of Cagliari";}
  • Edna Margarita Gómez-Bustamante


adolescent, associated factors, eating behaviour, eating disorder


Background and aim: The World Health Organization has placed eating disorders among the priority mental illnesses for children and adolescents given the risk they imply for their health. Recognizing the risk factors associated with this problem can serve as the basis for the design of timely and effective interventions. The objective of the study was to identify the factors associated with eating behavior in adolescents through a systematic review.

Methods: Systematic review. Search of the literature in the bibliographic sources CINAHL, CUIDEN, Pubmed, Dialnet, SCIELO and Science Direct. The search was conducted in October and November 2020. The search terms were Eating Disorders, Food Intake, and Adolescents. The evaluation of the methodological quality was carried out using a specific guide for observational epidemiological studies. A narrative synthesis of the findings was made. Additionally, the vote counting and sign test technique was applied.

Results: 25 studies were selected. The associated factors were body dissatisfaction, female gender, depression, low self-esteem, higher BMI that increases the risk of eating disorders.

Conclusions: a high impact of psychological factors was observed. These should be considered in the design of effective interventions to prevent this disease, although the search needs to be broadened to identify larger and more complex studies that allow for a more comprehensive review.


National Institute of Mental Health. Eating disorders: A problem that goes beyond food. April, 2018. STR 17-4901.

Sánchez A. Prevalence of eating disorders in six European countries. Rev. Nursing Goals 2017; 20: 66-73.DOI:https://doi.org/10.35667/MetasEnf.2019.20.1003081094

Fajardo E, Méndez C, Jauregui A. Prevalence of risk of eating disorders in a population of secondary school students, Bogotá Colombia. Rev fac.med. 2017; 25 (1) https://doi.org/10.18359/rmed.2917

Smink F, Daphne V, Hans H. Epidemiology of Eating Disorders; Incidence, prevalence and Mortality Rates. Rev Curr Psychiatry Rep 2012; 14: 406-414.DOI: 10.1007 / s11920-012-0282-y

Benjet C. Borges G, Medina M, Blanco J, Rojas E, Fleiz C. et al. The Mental Health Survey in Adolescents in Mexico. In: Rodríguez J., Kohn R., Aguilar S. Epidemiology of mental disorders in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington: Pan American Health Organization; 2009. P. 107-114

Ortiz Cuquejo, LM, Aguiar, C., Samudio Domínguez, GC, & Troche Hermosilla, A. Eating disorders in adolescents: a growing pathology?. Pediatrics (Asunción), 2017; 44 (1), 37-42.

Gaete P. Verónica, López C. Carolina. Eating disorders in adolescents. A comprehensive look. Rev. chil. pediatr. 2020; 91 (5): 784-793.http://dx.doi.org/10.32641/rchped.vi91i5.1534.

World Health Organization. Mental health in adolescents. September 2020.

World Health Organization. World Report on Adolescent Development 2019.Available at: https://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/topics/adolescence/dev/es/

Urrutia G, Bonfill X. PRISMA statement: a proposal to improve the publication for systematic reviews and meta-analyzes: Rev. Medicina Clínica 2010; 1: 507-511. Available at: Document downloaded from http://www.elsevier.es on 02/22/2011.

Ciapponi, A. Special Article: Guide to critical reading of observational studies in epidemiology (first part). Evidence, 2010; 134: 135-40 Available at: http://www.profam.org.ar/files/1340ad86707f80da800b750a285777ea.pdf

Ciapponi, A. Critical reading guide of observational studies in epidemiology (second part). Evidence, update in ambulatory practice, 2011; 14: 7-14 Available at: http://www.evidencia.org/index.php/Evidencia/article/view/6075/3636

Pino, R. Frías, A. Palomino, P. The quantitative systematic review in nursing. Rev. Iberoamericana de Enfermería Comunitaria 2014; 7: 24-40 Available at:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263523642_La_revision_sistematica_cuantitativa_en_enfermeria

Higgins JPT, Green S. Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0. The Cochrane Collaboration. Available in:https://es.cochrane.org/sites/es.cochrane.org/files/public/uploads/Manual_Cochrane_510_reduit.pdf.

Esteban L, Veiga O, Gómez S, Veses A. Regidor, E. Martínez, D, et al. Length of residence and risk of eating disorders in immigrant adolescents living in Madrid; the RELATED study. Rev. Nutrition Hospital 2014; 4: 1047-1053. Available at: http://www.aulamedica.es/nh/pdf/7387.pdf

Shahyad S,Pakdaman S, Shokri O, Hassan S. The role of individual and social variables in predicting body dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms among Iranian adolescent girls: an expanding of the tripartite influence mode. Rev. European Journal of Translational Myology 2018; 1: 99-104. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5895986/

Yirga B, Assefa Y, Derso T. Mesele M.Disordered eating attitude and associated factors among high school adolescents aged 12–19 years in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. Rev. BMC Research Notes 2016; 9: 503.Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13104-016-2318-6

Altamirano M, Vizmanos B, Santoncini C. Continuum of risky eating behaviors in adolescents in Mexico. Rev. Panamericana de Salud Pública 2011; 06: 401-407. Available in: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/38a3/790e2eab57d185382eb99ca77909176faecd.pdf

Fuentes M, García O. Influence of family socialization on satisfaction with body image in Spanish adolescents. Rev. Eating behavior disorders 2015; 22: 2403-2425 Available at: https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=6250809

Lazo Y, Quenaya A, Tristán P. Influence of the media and the risk of suffering from eating disorders in female schoolchildren in Lima, Peru. Rev.Arch Argent Pediatr 2015; 113: 519-525. Available in: https://www.sap.org.ar/docs/publicaciones/archivosarg/2015/v113n6a08.pdf

Moreno A, Londoño C. Family and personal predictors of eating disorders in young people. Rev. Anales de psicología 2017; 33: 235.Available at: https://revistas.um.es/analesps/article/view/analesps.33.2.236781

Nuño B, Celis A, Unike C. Prevalence and factors associated with risky eating behaviors in school adolescents in Guadalajara according to sex. Journal of Clinical Research. 2009; 61: 286-293. Available in:https://www.medigraphic.com/pdfs/revinvcli/nn-2009/nn094e.pdf

Quiles Y, Pamies L. Perfectionism and risk factors for the development of eating disorders in Spanish adolescents of both genders. Rev. Anales de Psicología 2014; 30: 620-626. Available in:https://revistas.um.es/analesps/article/view/analesps.30.2.158441

Silva C, Millán B, González K. Gender role and eating attitudes in adolescents from two different socio-cultural contexts: Traditional vs. non-traditional. Mexican Journal of Eating Disorders 2017; 8: 40-48. Available in: https://www.medigraphic.com/pdfs/trastornos/mta-2017/mta171e.pdf

Sousa L, Cipriani F, Caputo M. Risk behaviors for eating disorder: Factors associated in adolescent students. Rev. Trends in psychiatry and psychotherapy 2013; 35: 279-286. Available in: https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S2237-60892013000400279&script=sci_arttext

Cogollo Z, Gómez E. Risk of eating behavior disorders in adolescents from Cartagena, Colombia. Rev. Research and Education in Nursing 2013; 31: 450-456, available at: http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0120-53072013000300013

Caldera I, Martin P, Caldera J, Reynoso O, Zamora M. Predictors of risk eating behaviors in high school students. Mexican Journal of Eating Disorders 2019; 10: 22-31. Available in: https://www.medigraphic.com/pdfs/trastornos/mta-2019/mta191c.pdf

QueenYes,ShomakerL,MoorevilleM,CourvilleA, BradyS, OlsenC,Yanovski S. Tanofsky M, YanovskiJ. Sociocultural pressures and adolescent eating in the absence of hunger. Rev. Body image 2013; 10: 182-190. Available in:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671847/

Laporta I, Delgado M, Reboyar S, Lahuerta C. Perfectionism in adolescents with eating disorders. Rev. European Journal of Health Research. 2020; 6: 97-107

Rod E, Pons R, Lajara F, Molina S, Parrón L, Porras R. Influence of the habits of the adolescent population on self-image and the risk of eating disorder. "Pediatrics Primary Care 13.51 (2011): 387-396. Available in: http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1139-76322011000300005

De Sousa L, De Sousa S, Caputo E. Influence of psychological, anthropometric and sociodemographic factors on the symptoms of eating disorders in young athletes. Rev. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto) 2014; 24: 21-27, Available at: https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0103863X2014000100021

Castaño J, Giraldo D, Guevara J, Lozada D, Meza L, Narváez D. et al. Prevalence of risk of eating disorders in a female population of high school students, Manizales, Colombia, 2011. Colombian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2012; 63: 46-56. Available in: https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1952/195224186006.pdf

Rutsztein G, Scappatura L, Murawski B. Perfectionism and low self-esteem across the continuum of eating disorders in adolescent girls from Buenos Aires. Mexican Journal of Eating Disorders 2014; 5: 39-49. Available in: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2007152314703751

Haynos A, Watts A, Loth K, Pearson C, Neumark D. Factors predicting an escalation of restrictive eating during adolescence. Rev. Journal of Adolescent Health 2016; 59: 391-396 Available at: https://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(16)00090-2/fulltext

Maezono J,Hamada S, Sillanmaki L, Kaneko H, Ogura M, Lempinen L et al. Cross-cultural, population-based study on adolescent body image and eating distress in Japan and Finland. Rev. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 2019; 60: 67-76. Available in:


Batista M, Zigic L, Zaja O, Jakovina T, BegovacI. Predictors of eating disorder risk in anorexia nervosa adolescents. Rev. Acta Clínica Croatica 2018; 57: 399. Available in:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536277/

Jiménez P, Jiménez A, Bacardí M. Dissatisfaction with body image in children and adolescents: systematic review. Rev. Hospital nutrition 2017; 34: 479-489 Available at: http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?pid=S021216112017000200479&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en

Mancilla A, Vásquez R, Mantilla J, Amaya A, Alvares G. Body dissatisfaction in children and preadolescents: A systematic review. Rev. Mexicana de Eating Disorders 20123; 3: 62-79. Available in: http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2007-15232012000100008

Berkman N, Lohr K, Bulik C, Outcomes of eating disorders: a systematic. International Rev. of Eating Disorders 2007; 40: 293-309, available at:https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.20369.

Moreno J, Torres C. Systematic review of the sociocultural determinants associated with eating disorders in Latin American adolescents between 2004 and 2014. (specialization thesis). Bogotá: UCA publication; University Applied And Environmental Sciences 2015.Available https://repository.udca.edu.co/bitstream/11158/445/1/REVISI%C3%93N%20SISTEM%C3%81TICA.pdf

Ruíz A, Vázquez R, Mancilla J, Vildrichi C, Halley M. Family factors associated with Eating Disorders: a review. Rev. mexicana of eating disorders 2013; 4: 45-57. Available in: http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2007-15232013000100006

Góngora V, Satisfaction with life, Well-being, and meaning in life as protective factors of eating disorder symptoms and body dissatisfaction in adolescents. Rev. Eating Disorders 2014; 22: 435-449. Available at: DOI: 10.1080 / 10640266.2014.931765.

Levine M, Smolak L. The role of protective factors in the prevention of negative body image and Disordered eating.Rev. Eating Disorders 2016; 24: 39-46, Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10640266.2015.1113826

Haines J, Kleinman K, Rifas S, Field A. Examination of shared risk and protective factors for overweight and disordered eating among adolescents. Rev. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2010; 164: 336-343. Available at: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/383044







How to Cite

Factors associated with eating disorders in adolescents: a systematic review. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2022 Jul. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 19];93(3):e2022253. Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/13140