Weight-related peer-teasing moderates genetic and environmental risk and disordered eating: twin study

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Weight-related peer-teasing is considered a potent prospective risk factor for development of disordered eating and clinical eating disorders. Currently, the interplay between genetic and environmental influences has yet to be elucidated.


To determine whether peer-teasing moderates latent genetic and/or environmental risk for disordered eating among female adolescent twins.


Full quantitative gene–environment interplay modelling of longitudinal trajectory of disordered eating in 685 female twins from the Australian Twin Registry.


A model permitting moderation of disordered eating by peer-teasing involving genetic and non-shared environment effects fit these data best. As levels of peer-teasing increased, both genetic and environmental influences on disordered eating strengthened; however, genetic sources increased proportionally more than environmental sources.


Weight-related peer-teasing represents a particularly powerful trigger for disordered eating. Nevertheless, it is amenable to intervention/prevention activities spanning individual to universal levels of endeavour.

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