05.10.2004 Health

Anorexia among female secondary school students

By British Journal of Psychiatry
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Background: We set out to determine whether anorexia nervosa exists in a culture where the pressure to be thin is less pervasive. Aims: To determine whether there were any cases of anorexia nervosa in female students attending two secondary schools in the north-east region of Ghana.
Method: The body mass index (BMI) of consenting students was calculated after measuring their height and weight. Those with a BMI 19 kg/m2 underwent a structured clinical assessment including mental state, physical examination and completion of the Eating Attitudes Test and the Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh. Participants nominated a best friend to serve as a comparison group, and these young women under went the same assessments.
Results Of the 668 students who were screened for BMI, 10 with a BMI South East Scotland Deanery, Edinburgh Michael Sharpe, MA, MRCP, MD, MRCPsych Department of Psychological Medicine and Symptoms Research, University of Edinburgh Chris Freeman, FRCPsych, FRCP(Ed) Cullen Centre, Royal Edinburgh Hospital Alan Carson, MBChB, MPhil, MD, MRCPsych Robert Fergusson Unit and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, UK Correspondence: Dr Dinah Bennett, Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, St John's Hospital, Howden Road West, Livingston, Edinburgh EH54 6PP, UK. E-mail: [email protected]

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