A Systematic Review of the Prevalence and History of Eating Disorders in College Students: A Comparison of Western and Nonwestern Countries
Kyle, Ashley J,. 1995--
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health issues, and approximately one in four students have a diagnosable mental health concern; eating disorders. Students, especially females, have an increase focus on their body image and are willing to go to extreme measures to change their bodies’ shapes and sizes through unhealthy diet, purging, binging, or similar actions. In the past, eating disorders have been primarily a Western disease, but research has shown an increasing prevalence among Nonwestern countries with rates as high as some Western countries. The objectives of this study were to compare the prevalence rates of eating disorders among college students in Western and Nonwestern countries. Secondly, to examine the history of eating disorders to determine trends that might be influencing the prevalence rates in both Western and Nonwestern countries. Eating disorders that were examined are anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED). This research is important to determine 1) whether or not Nonwestern college students are being affected by eating disorders, 2) if the prevalence rates of eating disorders in college students in Western and Nonwestern countries are increasing, and 3) what trends in the past have been occurring that might have influenced the prevalence of eating disorders. It is concluded that the prevalence rates of specific eating disorders have been rising in both Western and Nonwestern countries while others remain stable or declined.