Women with eating disorders more likely to be criminals

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 9th August 2017

Females who have eating disorders are more likely to have been convicted of theft and other crimes a Swedish study has found.

Published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, the study analysed 960, 000 women and discovered that 12 per cent of those suffering from anorexia had been convicted of theft and 7 per cent convicted of another crime.

Nearly 20 per cent (18 per cent) of bulimia suffers had been convicted of theft and 13 per cent other crimes.

When compared to those not diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia, only 5 per cent of the women had been caught stealing and 6 per cent convicted for other crimes.

The researchers said further study is required to find out why criminal activity among women with eating disorders may be higher than the normal population and how to best address the two issues.

“Our results highlight forensic issues as an adversity associated with eating disorders,” lead researcher Shuyang Yao said.

“Criminal convictions can compound disease burden and complicate treatment. Clinicians should be sure to conduct routine reviews of criminal history during assessments for eating disorders,” Yao said.