Scoliosis and eating disorders?

Teenagers with scoliosis are not necessarily at greater risk of developing anorexia or bulimia; indeed, in some cases, scoliosis therapy, conducted in a certain type of environment and in strongly motivated patients, could actually be an element helping to avoid possible eating disorders.

This is what emerges from an Isico study entitled “Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and eating disorders: is there a relation? Results of a cross-sectional study”, published in the journal Research in Developmental Disabilities.  
The study involved nearly 300 adolescents, including 187 adolescent girls with idiopathic scoliosis being treated with exercises and bracing; 93 participants did not have scoliosis.
“Until now, eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) have always been thought to be more frequent among adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis” explains Dr Fabio Zaina, physiatrist at Isico “In actual fact, even though we found an association between scoliosis and lower body mass index, and thus between scoliosis and being thinner (which may probably be due to hormonal differences), otherwise the data we collected differ [from those published in the literature]. Using the screening questionnaire Eat 26, which is one of the most accredited for this type of analysis, we found eating disorders in 1.6% of our sample”.
“Obviously, the particular setting of our study and the probably different background of our patients  has to be taken into account” Dr Zaina goes on. “This was certainly a population characterised by high  levels of parental interest and adherence to the treatment. We can therefore conclude that the existence of a connection between scoliosis and eating disorders must be strongly questioned, particularly in a setting like ours where scoliosis treatment was found to reverse the trend of the data presented in the literature to date, producing lower rates [of eating disorders] than in the rest of the population”.

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