According to a new study, experiencing financial difficulties while being a student has more chances of turning the girl into someone with an eating disorder. On the other hand, the study also found that having extreme attitudes towards food rose the probability of short-term financial difficulties for female students.
“There may be a ‘vicious cycle’ for these students, where negative attitudes towards eating increase the risk of financial difficulties in the short term, and those difficulties further exacerbate negative eating attitudes in the longer term,”
Dr. Thomas Richardson, clinical psychologist and lead author of the study explained.
The study was published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. For this research they also looked into the relationship between the socioeconomic status and someone’s eating attitudes. They were more problematic for girls who came from poorer families.
Using the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) and looking into the lives of over 400 undergraduate students from universities across the UK, researchers questioned everything about them, beginning with family affluence and finishing with their latest financial problems or obstacles.
As far as the EAT is concerned, it basically asks for simple reactions to statements like: “I feel extremely guilty after eating”, or “I am preoccupied with a desire to be thinner”, or “I have the impulse to vomit after meals”. The higher they scored the more chances of representing extreme attitudes toward food and the potential occurrence of eating disorders.
Students completed the surveys at up to four times, at intervals of three to four months apart.
The great thing about this study is that female students involved completed this study up to 4 times, 3 or 4 months apart. The results undoubtedly indicated a direct relationship between one’s financial situation and eating disorders in women. This theory did not apply to men.
Having an eating disorder makes the girls feel they have control over their lives during periods of stress and discouragement. By restricting their food intake or by taking the exact opposite measure, girls feel they are calling the shots of their own lives.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women and 10 million men nationally suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life.