A team of researchers from different universities in Britain claims that eating disorders are more prevalent among girls whose parents are highly-achievers and have college degrees.
Aside from the parents’ educational attainment, the girls’ enrollment in a girls-dominated school, also increases the risk of developing an eating disorder, the Daily Times reported. Two of the most common types of eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia nervosa.
According to the study, which covered around 55,059 Swedish teenage girls who attended all-girls school in and around Stockholm, girls attending a school where three-fourth of the pupils are girls and 75 percent of parents are degree holder, increases the risk of the student to develop eating disorder by 3.3 percent.
About 2.4 percent of the 55, 059 girls included in the study were diagnosed with eating disorder. If students attend schools with only a quarter of students are girls and only a quarter of parents are highly educated, the risk of developing an eating disorder lowers to 1.3 percent.
The study, which was published in the journal the International Journal of Epidemiology, was a product of collaborative work between the various researchers from the the University of Oxford, University of Bristol, University College London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Karolinska Institute.
It was also the first time where researchers studied school as a precursor to developing eating disorders and was funded by the Wellcome Trust and Stockholm County Council, the National Health Services UK reported.
“Schools with more students from more educated families may have higher aspirations and exert greater demands on their students. This may encourage perfectionism, which is strongly associated with eating disorders. Aspirational school culture may inadvertently lead to increased rates of eating disorder,” the researchers say as quoted by the NHS UK.