Unhealthy Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders in Young People Rise During Pandemic
Experts say a variety of stressors like an increase in depression, fear of weight gain and outside factors like job loss and food insecurity are to blame.
DULUTH, Minn.- Researchers with the University Of Minnesota Medical School says they have discovered a rise in unhealthy eating behaviors and eating disorders among young adults during the pandemic.
Up to 53% of young people transitioning out of high school experienced one or more unhealthy eating or weight control behaviors. These ranged from binge eating or skipping meals to self-induced vomiting and others more severe.
Experts say a variety of stressors like an increase in depression and fear of weight gain are to blame, as well as outside factors like job loss and food insecurity.
“We saw stress management as associated with disordered eating. So lower levels of stress management, but not stress itself,” said Dr. Melissa Simone, a postdoctoral research fellow in psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School
“So I think one of the main takeaways is the importance of kind of teaching the population about ways to control your stress and that you’re not alone in experiencing this stress,” Dr. Simone said.
Researchers say ways to control your stress include mindfulness exercises like yoga, or trying to have more social connection.