Eating disorder symptoms among adolescent boys and girls in Iran

Reza N. Sahlan, Jessica F. Saunders, Jonathan M. Mond, Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: Few studies of eating disorder (ED) symptoms among young people in Iran have been conducted. This cross-sectional study examined ED symptoms, assessed by the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Method: Adolescent boys (n = 498) and girls (n = 607) aged 12–19 years, recruited from schools in four different regions of Iran, completed a survey that included the EDE-Q. ED symptoms, namely, EDE-Q global scores and the occurrence of specific ED behaviors, were compared between boys and girls. Results: Girls had higher global scores and were more likely to report regular extreme dietary restriction than boys (16.6 vs. 12.0%). The effect sizes for these differences were small. The regular occurrence of other behaviors (girls vs. boys—binge eating: 21.1 vs. 18.8%; self-induced vomiting: 3.3 vs. 5.4%; laxative misuse: 6.1 vs. 7.6%; excessive exercise: 5.3 vs. 4.4%) did not significantly differ by gender. Twelve percent of boys and 12.9% of girls met criteria for an operational definition of “probable ED case.”. Conclusion: ED symptoms appear to be relatively common among Iranian adolescent boys and girls. Programs designed to reduce the occurrence and adverse impact of these symptoms may therefore be increasingly important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • EDE-Q
  • Iran
  • adolescents
  • eating disorder symptoms
  • gender differences


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