English summary: EARLY DETECTION OF DISORDERED EATING BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOL HEALTH CARE
School health care is at a key position in detecting and preventing disordered eating behaviour and referring adolescents showing such behaviour to treatment. The aim of this article is to describe disordered eating behaviour reported by adolescents, and factors connected with such symptoms.
The study was carried out as a survey in the upper level of comprehensive school in Turku during 2003-2004. The target population consisted of the adolescents in the 9th grade. Of the total of 1374 questionnaires distributed 855 (62%) were used for the analysis. In addition, the data included information from the adolescents' health records from the 8th and 9th grades.
According to self-report 18% of the girls aged 15-16 years had at least one symptom of disordered eating. The share of boys reporting such symptoms was less than half compared to girls. Adolescents who were overweight or had various psychosocial problems were at risk for disordered eating behaviour. Also those who followed special diets or practiced sports emphasizing aesthetics or weight were at risk.
All adolescents who according to self-report, behaviour, or attitude exhibit a disordered relation to weight and eating, or have risk factors characteristic for disordered eating, should be placed under close control in school health care.