Prevalence, features and health impacts of eating disorders amongst First-Australian Yiramarang (adolescents) and in comparison with other Australian adolescents

Adam Burt, Deborah Mitchison*, Elizabeth Dale, Kay Bussey, Nora Trompeter, Alexandra Lonergan, Phillipa Hay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Background: This study aimed to support previous research conducted with First-Australians (FA) by establishing the prevalence of eating disorders, and their demographic distribution and burden in adolescent First-Australians compared to other-Australians (OA). Methods: Data were used from the baseline survey of the EveryBODY Study, a longitudinal investigation of eating disorders among Australian adolescents. Of the 5068 participants included, 402 (8%) identified as FA, 4586 (90.5%) identified as OA. Diagnosis of eating disorders was based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version 5. Socioeconomic status and measures of impairment were assessed using validated instruments. Body mass index was calculated based on self-reported weight and height. Statistical analyses used data weighted to the distribution of gender in adolescents in New South Wales in the 2016 Australian Census. Chi-square tests were performed to determine prevalence of eating disorders amongst FA and to compare to OA. ANOVA and logistic regression analyses where conducted to examine the moderation effect of sociodemographic status, measures of impairment and FA status on the distribution of eating disorders. Results: The prevalence rates for eating disorder diagnoses where similar for FA and OA with the exception of Night eating Syndrome (OSFED-NES), which occurred in 7.14% (95%CI 4.81-10.49) of FA vs. 3.72% (95%CI 3.17-4.36) in OA. The greater prevalence of OSFED-NES in FA was largely explained by poorer psychosocial quality of life amongst FA. Conclusion: Eating disorders are common amongst First-Australian adolescents and are associated with poor psychosocial quality of life. These findings are consistent with previous research conducted with First-Australian adults. There is a need to screen for eating disorders amongst First-Australian adolescent girls and boys.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. 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.


  • feeding and eating disorders
  • adolescents
  • prevalence
  • oceanic ancestry
  • group
  • Aboriginal and Torres


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