Food and Behaviour Research

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Disordered eating behaviors in adolescents with celiac disease

Tokatly Latzer I, Lerner-Geva L, Stein D, Weiss B, Pinhas-Hamiel O (2019) Eat Weight Disord.  2018 Oct.  doi: 10.1007/s40519-018-0605-z. [Epub ahead of print] 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here



Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic immune-mediated systemic disease characterized by inflammation and villous atrophy of the small intestine. A strict, lifelong gluten-free diet (GFD) is the only treatment for CD. Disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) prevail in adolescence and young adulthood, and confer a risk of developing into full-blown eating disorders. The aims of the current study were to assess the incidence and risk factors for DEBs among individuals with CD, and to examine an association between adherence to GFD and DEBs.


A cohort of 136 individuals with CD responded to a web-mediated survey that assessed DEBs and adherence to a GFD. The survey included demographic data (gender, age, weight, disease duration) and two self-rating questionnaires: the Eating Attitudes Test-26 and the gluten-free diet questionnaire.


DEBs were found in 19% of female and 7% of male responders. These individuals were characterized by being overweight (p = 0.02), of an older age (p = 0.04) and female sex (p = 0.06). Strict adherence to a GFD was reported by 32% of the responders and was not correlated with age, disease duration, age at diagnosis of CD and with being overweight.


Caregivers should be aware of the increased occurrence of DEBs in adolescents with CD, especially those who are overweight, older and of a female gender.


Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.


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