The prevalence of bulimia nervosa and bulimic behaviors among university students in Texas
This cross-sectional study examined by questionnaire the prevalence of bulimia nervosa and bulimic behaviors in a sample of 1175 undergraduate students enrolled in two state-supported universities in Texas. In one university, the student population was predominantly white; in the other, it was predominantly black. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents were female and 41% were male. Information regarding age, sex, ethnicity, college major, college year, marital status, housing arrangements, religion, socioeconomic status, height, weight, dieting behaviors, and family history of alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression was collected. Bulimia status was assessed using the Revised Bulimia Test (BULIT-R), which is based on the DSM-III-R criteria for bulimia nervosa. Only 1.3% of the females and 0.4% of the males were classified as having bulimia nervosa. The prevalence of bulimic behaviors was considerably higher; 6.4% of the females and 3.6% of the males were classified as having bulimic behaviors. Univariate analysis showed the following factors to be significantly associated with bulimic behaviors: female gender, single marital status, high BMI, a family history of alcoholism, drug abuse, or depression, and certain dieting behaviors. In the present study, ethnicity did not prove to be a significant factor associated with bulimia nervosa or bulimic behaviors. Multivariate analysis showed that, in comparison to normal/underweight individuals, the odds of having bulimic behaviors for severely overweight subjects were 2.23 (95% CI: 1.43, 3.50). Students who were dieting at the time of the study were 3.22 times (95% CI: 2.05, 5.06) as likely to have bulimic behaviors as were students who had never dieted. This study concludes there is a need to distinguish between bulimia nervosa and bulimic behaviors when estimating prevalence of a population.
Pemberton, Amy Patricia Russell, "The prevalence of bulimia nervosa and bulimic behaviors among university students in Texas" (1993). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9422048.