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Violence Against Women in Adulthood Is Associated with Increased Disordered Eating Behaviors and Risk of Eating Disorders: A Cross-Sectional Study
Violence and Gender  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-08-27, DOI: 10.1089/vio.2021.0021
Lama Mattar, Joelle Abi Kharma, Nivine Hanach, Farah Al Mashharawi, Nadine Zeeni

Violence against women (VAW) is a global public health problem associated with considerable health risks, including disordered eating behavior (DEB) and eating disorders (ED). The current study investigates the effect of different VAW types on the occurrence of DEB and the risk of ED in adult women in Lebanon. A cross-sectional survey assessing violence exposure, ED risk, and DEB was administered to 367 women older than 18 years; classified into a violence exposed group (EG, n = 106) and unexposed group (UG, n = 261). Pearson's correlations, independent t-tests, and a simple linear regression were used. Results showed that total violence, and all its subscales were significantly higher in the EG compared to UG (p < 0.001). Subjects in the EG (77.78%) were more likely to be at risk of ED compared to those in the UG (p = 0.034). Moreover, total violence, physical, and sexual violence were associated with increased risk of ED (p = 0.0259, p = 0.0354, and p = 0.0351, respectively). Regarding DEB, only external eating was significantly higher among the EG compared to the UG (p = 0.0031). The present findings showed that VAW results in DEB and thus increased risk of ED.