Publications by authors named "Joseph Ayres"

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Food insecurity associated with elevated eating disorder symptoms, impairment, and eating disorder diagnoses in an American University student sample before and during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Int J Eat Disord 2021 07 22;54(7):1213-1223. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Objective: This study tested the association between food insecurity and eating disorder (ED) pathology, including probable ED diagnosis, among two cohorts of university students before and during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Method: Students (n = 579) from a large Midwestern American university completed self-report questionnaires assessing frequency of ED behaviors, ED-related impairment, and individual food insecurity as measured by the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Scale 5, Clinical Impairment Assessment, and Radimer/Cornell, respectively. Chi-square tests and MANOVA with post-hoc corrections were conducted to compare demographic characteristics, ED pathology, and probable ED diagnosis prevalence between students with and without individual food insecurity.

Results: Partially supporting hypotheses, MANOVA indicated significantly greater frequency of objective binge eating, compensatory fasting, and ED-related impairment for students with food insecurity compared with individuals without food insecurity. Chi-squared tests showed higher prevalence of ED diagnoses among individuals with food insecurity compared with those without food security (47.6 vs. 31.1%, respectively, pā€‰<ā€‰.01, NNT = 6.06), specifically bulimia nervosa and other specified feeding and eating disorder. There were no differences in food insecurity before or during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discussion: Consistent with prior literature, food insecurity was associated with elevated ED psychopathology in this sample. Findings emphasize the importance of proper ED screening for college students vulnerable to food insecurity and EDs.
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July 2021