Purpose of Review: This review summarizes emerging evidence for the relationship between food insecurity and eating disorder (ED) pathology, outlines priorities for future research in this area, and comments on considerations for clinical and public health practice.
Recent Findings: Among adults, food insecurity is cross-sectionally associated with higher levels of overall ED pathology, binge eating, compensatory behaviors, binge-eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa. Evidence for similar relationships among adolescents has been less robust; however, compared to studies of adults, there have been substantially fewer studies conducted in adolescents to date.
Summary: Emerging evidence consistently indicates that food insecurity is cross-sectionally associated with bulimic-spectrum ED pathology among adults. Findings emphasize the need for ED research to include marginalized populations who have historically been overlooked in the ED field. Much more research is needed to better understand the relationship between food insecurity and ED pathology and to determine effective ways to intervene.
Hazzard, V. M., Loth, K. A., Hooper, L., & Becker, C. B. (2020). Food insecurity and eating disorders: A review of emerging evidence. Current Psychiatry Reports, 22(12), Article 74. doi: 10.1007/s11920-020-01200-0
Current Psychiatry Reports