Overeating a marker of poor mental health, adverse outcomes among teens with diabetes

02 Dec 2021
Overeating a marker of poor mental health, adverse outcomes among teens with diabetes

Overeating or binge eating symptoms are linked to lower quality of life (QoL), higher prevalence of depression and anxiety, and poor clinical outcomes among adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D), according to a study.

The study used data from the Danish Registry for Diabetes in Childhood and Adolescence (DanDiabKids) and included 506 adolescents (mean age 14.7 years, 49 percent girls) with T1D. All participants completed questionnaires that evaluate eating disorders, QoL, and emotional difficulties. They provided blood samples, which were then used to measure HbA1c.

Age, diabetes duration, and HbA1c were not different between boys and girls, while body mass index standard deviation score (BMISDS) was higher in females. Of the adolescents, 40 (7.9 percent) had symptoms of overeating, 91 (18 percent) had symptoms of subclinical binge eating, and 40 (7.9 percent) showed symptoms of clinical binge eating. Overeating was more common in boys (11.2 percent vs 4.5 percent), while clinical binge eating was more common in girls (13.4 percent vs 2.7 percent).

Teens with clinical binge eating symptoms had the lowest generic and diabetes-specific QoL, the highest anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as elevated levels of HbA1c. Furthermore, this group had borderline increased BMISDS.

The findings underscore the importance of screening youth with T1D for binge eating symptoms, with QoL and emotional status assessed in accordance with the international society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes guidelines. [Pediatr Diabetes 2018;19:237-249]

Editor's Recommendations