What is it about?

Associations between disordered eating and Suicidal ideation (SI) at adolescence have been examined in a cross-sectional large population study(The HUNT Study). The study is funded by the medical faculty at NTNU and as part of a doctoral study on genetic and environmental factors associated with disordered eating in adolescents. In both genders, we have found strong associations between "SI" and individuals' "perception of their body size, how happy they were with their current weigh status or whether they had traits of disordered eating", even after adjusting for age, BMI, mental distress and socioeconomic status. The current study has shed light on the scope of disordered eating traits amongst male population whom have been very underrepresented in current literature on eating disorders. Authors make recommendations for careful assessment of SI in younger populations with disordered eating.

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Why is it important?

•We have identified detectable yet somewhat overlooked factors that may assist in addressing suicidal ideation (SI) in adolescents. •Our results are of general relevance since our observations were made in a large, population-based adolescent dataset that included both males and females. •We address a vulnerable period with a potential for timely individual and societal interventions.


Disordered eating (DE), weight and body size concerns are prevalent amongst both female and male adolescents, contrary to generally held belief that they mostly affect female adolescents. In our study population, suicidal ideation(SI) shows a strong correlation with DE or weight/body size concerns at adolescence. Identification of vulnerable younger individulas in a critical developmental period can help reducing the burden of SI on affected population and their care givers. This study has shed light on the scale of such burden amongst male, as well as female adolescents. Authors have made recommendations as to how address such vulnerabilities on both population and individual level.

farzaneh Saeedzadeh Sardahaee

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Suicidal ideation in relation to disordered eating, body size and weight perception: a cross-sectional study of a Norwegian adolescent population: the HUNT Study, BMJ Open, July 2019, BMJ, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029809.
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