Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic position, self-esteem, and emotion on eating attitudes in adolescents. METHOD: Questionnaire survey of 722 students in two English schools, using Eating Attitude Test-26 (EAT), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and Angold vMood and Feeling instruments. RESULTS: EAT scores were significantly higher for Asians and Muslims and for mixed-race subjects than for White or African Caribbean subjects (p =.003). Adjusted odds ratios for having a very high EAT score (>20) were 2.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0-6.0) in Asians and Muslims and 2.9 (95% CI 1.3-18.6) in mixed-race subjects, compared with White subjects. Having only one parent employed was also independently associated with a very high EAT score, compared with having both parents employed. Similar associations were found for a moderately high EAT score (>10) and for a combination of low self-esteem and high EAT score. Low self-esteem and depressed mood were independently associated with a high EAT score. DISCUSSION: Ethnicity, socioeconomic position, self-esteem, and depression, but not gender, were independently associated with eating attitudes. Effects of cultural and socioeconomic stresses on eating disorders may be mediated through depressed mood and low self-esteem.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Eat Disord

Publication Date





92 - 96


Adolescent, Affect, Attitude to Health, Body Mass Index, Child, Cross-Cultural Comparison, Cross-Sectional Studies, England, Ethnicity, Female, Gender Identity, Humans, Male, Personality Inventory, Psychology, Adolescent, Psychometrics, Reference Values, Reproducibility of Results, Self Concept, Social Class, Students