Associations between self-reported diabetes mellitus, disordered eating behaviours, weight/shape overvaluation, and health-related quality of life

Danilo Dias Santana, Deborah Mitchison, David Gonzalez-Chica, Stephen Touyz, Nigel Stocks, Jose Carlos Appolinario, Gloria Valeria Da Veiga, Phillipa Hay*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Eating disorders (ED) and disordered eating behaviours (DEB) have been found to be common in people with diabetes mellitus (DM). However, findings have been inconsistent. Objective: This study investigated the association between self-reported diabetes (Type 1 or 2) with ED/DEB (binge eating, subjective binge eating or loss of control overeating, severe dieting and purging) weight/shape overvaluation, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a household survey in South Australia. Method: In 2017 2977 people aged ≥15 years, who were representative of the general population, were interviewed. Participants reported their gender, age, household income, highest educational attainment, area of residence, presence of DM, ED/DEB, level of overvaluation, current HRQoL and height and weight. For the analyses between ED/DEB, self-reported DM and HRQoL, a grouping variable was created: 1) people without ED/DEB or self-reported DM; 2) people without ED/DEB and with self-reported DM; 3) people with ED/DEB and without self-reported DM; and 4) people with ED/DEB and self-reported DM. Analyses were stratified by sex and age group. Results: Subjective binge eating prevalence was higher in people with self-reported DM (6.6% vs 2.8%, p = 0.016), and overvaluation was lower in those with DM (36% vs 43.8%, p = 0.007). In analyses stratified by sex and age group, subjective binge eating was higher in women and in people over 45 years with self-reported DM and overvaluation was lower in men and in people over 45 years with self-reported DM. However, these differences were not significant on tests of gender and age interaction. People in both DM groups scored significantly lower than people without DM groups on physical HRQoL. In contrast, people in both ED/DEB groups scored lower than people without ED/BEB on mental HRQoL. Conclusion: People with self-reported DM had a higher prevalence of subjective binge eating, a lower prevalence of overvaluation and there were no significant effects of age or gender. Furthermore, participants with self-reported DM and comorbid ED or DEB had impairments of both mental and physical HRQoL. Assessing an individual's sense of control over eating along with other DEB is likely important for identification of these mental health problems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Eating Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • diabetes mellitus
  • disordered eating behaviors
  • weight/shape overvaluation
  • health-related quality of life
  • epidemiology

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