Association Between Low Height and Eating Disorders: Cause Or Effect?

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Objective:Few studies have explored the relationship between stature and eating disorders (ED). We aimed to investigate the connection between height and risk for ED in a cohort of female subjects.Method:The sample was composed of 1,031 subjects with ED and 832 controls. All participants belonged to the same birth cohort and were living in the same geographical area.Results:ED subjects were, on average, shorter than control subjects, independently from the age of onset. In earlyonset anorexia nervosa only, age of onset and lowest body mass index were significant predictors of height. In the whole sample, a lower height was associated with an increased risk of having an ED, even after controlling for possible confounding variables.Conclusion:The association between EDs and low stature is statistically significant. Further studies are necessary to understand which genetic and/or environmental factors might explain this association. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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