Teasing as a risk factor for abnormal eating behaviours: A prospective study in an adolescent population.


INTRODUCTION: There are discrepancies in the literature about the role of teasing in the onset of eating pathology. This article aims to establish the influence of teasing in abnormal eating behaviors and attitudes in the adolescent population. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a two-year prospective study conducted in 7,167 adolescents between 13 and 15 years of age. In a first assessment, teasing about weight and teasing about abilities were measured by means of the POTS.questionnaire. Its association with eating psychopathology after two years was analyzed controlling nutritional status (BMI), body dissatisfaction, drive to thinness, perfectionism (EDI), emotional symptoms and hyperactivity (SDQ) which had also been measured in the first assessment. The analysis was carried out independently for both genders. RESULTS: The multivariant analysis found no significant or independent effect of teasing about weight or teasing about abilities in the onset of later eating psychopathology. The obtained models were similar for both genders although in girls, but not in boys, controlling BMI was enough to make any effect of teasing disappear. CONCLUSIONS: Teasing about weight or abilities has no direct effect, neither in boys nor in girls of 13 to 15 years old, in the development of eating psychopathology.