According to new research, eating disorders may trigger suicidal thoughts or attempts. Researchers found that people who have eating disorders are at least five to six times more likely to attempt suicide.
Lead researcher Tomoko Udo, who is an assistant professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York, said that only half of people who had eating disorders seek help.
Udo and her team examined more than 36,000 adults with eating disorders, of which, only 50 percent said they went on to seek help. Overall, only 30 percent of participants consulted with a psychologist or counselor. The researchers also found that 34.5 percent of participants with anorexia nervosa, 63 percent with bulimia, and 49 percent with binge-eating disorder sought help.
The team also found that men were less likely to seek help than women for binge-eating disorder.
Udo said, “These sex differences may be due to the expectation that eating disorders primarily affect young white women, which may lead to heightened stigma surrounding eating disorders for men or ethnic/racial minorities and discourage seeking treatment.”
The first study was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
The second study, which was published in the journal BMC Medicine, found that adults who have eating disorders are at increased risk of attempting suicide. Those who had eating disorders were five to six times more likely to attempt suicide than those who had no eating disorders. Udo found that the risk was particularly high in people with anorexia nervosa.
The third study, which was published in the journal Obesity, found that more than half of the participants with binge-eating disorder placed a high value on their body shape and weight. Such participants also had issues with getting along with others. In addition, they had serious problems with their normal routines.
Udo said, “Our findings suggest that overvaluation could signal more severe cases of binge-eating disorder, and thus it is important to assess.” “Those with binge-eating disorder who report overvaluation of shape/weight may require more intensive treatment and may benefit from treatment that specifically addresses their body image over other factors,” explained Udo.