Disordered eating in entry-level military personnel

Christopher Warner, Carolynn Warner, Theresa Matuszak, James Rachal, Julianne Flynn, Thomas A. Grieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal was to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for disordered eating in an entry-level U.S. Army population. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of advanced individual training U.S. Army soldiers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, was performed with an anonymous self-report survey containing demographic factors, history (including abuse and psychiatric treatment), and Eating Attitudes Test-26. Results: Of 1,184 advanced individual training soldiers approached, 1,090 participated. The response rate was 91.2% (955 men and 135 women). Forty percent were overweight (body mass index of ≥25), 11% reported a psychiatric history, 26% reported a history of abuse, and 9.8% endorsed disordered eating (male, 7.0%; female, 29.6%), as defined by Eating Attitudes Test-26. Factors that placed soldiers at higher risk for disordered eating were female gender (odds ratio, 5.63; 95% confidence interval, 3.32-9.57; p < 0.00005), overweight (odds ratio, 3.06; 95% confidence interval, 1.92-4.89; p < 0.00005), previous psychiatric treatment (odds ratio, 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-3.36; p = 0.035), and history of verbal abuse (odds ratio, 2.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-3.51; p = 0.014). Conclusions: Our study shows a higher than expected rate of disordered eating in advanced individual training soldiers with identifiable risk factors. This indicates an important need for further study, effective screening, preventive counseling, and early intervention for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-151
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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