Risk Behaviors for Eating Disorders Among Brazilian Female Adolescents

Alessandro Leite Cavalcanti1, *, Natália Medeiros Andrade1, Lorenna Mendes Temóteo Brandt1, Liege Helena Freitas Fernandes1, Raissa Lima Toscano1, Sheyla Márcia Auad2, Burak Buldur3, Alidianne Fábia Cabral Cavalcanti1
1 School of Dentistry, Paraíba State University, Campina Grande, Brazil.
2 Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
3 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey.

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© 2020 Cavalcanti et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Dentistry, Paraíba State University, Campina Grande, Brazil; 58429-570, Tel: +55 83 3315-3326;



Eating disorders are complex conditions that cause serious emotional and physical problems.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the behavioral risk for eating disorders in Brazilian female adolescents and their association with dental caries and erosion.

Materials and Methods:

This cross-sectional study included 200 students from public and private schools aged 15-18 years divided into two groups according to behavioral risk: Group 1 - adolescents without risk and Group 2 - adolescents at risk / disorder situation. Sociodemographic information (age and type of school), use of dental services, eating habits, and Body Mass Index (BMI) was obtained. The Bulimic Investigatory Test of Edinburgh (BITE) was used to identify behavioral risk. Caries experience was assessed using the DMFT index, while dental erosion was evaluated using the O'Sullivan index. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, with a significance level of 5%.


The highest overweight and obesity percentages were verified among adolescents at risk / disorder, respectively, 33% and 16%. There was a statistically significant association between behavioral risk and variables standard dietary pattern (p<0.001), strict diet (p<0.001), fasting for 24 hours (p<0.001), self-induced vomiting (p<0.001), and BMI (p<0.001). There was also a statistically significant difference between behavioral risk and the presence of dental caries (p<0.05) and erosion (p<0.001).


Behavioral risk for eating disorders in female adolescents was associated with standard dietary patterns, strict diet and, self-induced vomiting. Adolescents at risk / eating disorders for bulimia were related to dental caries and erosion.

Keywords: Body dysmorphic disorders, Bulimia nervosa, Diet, Adolescents, Behavioral risk, Vomiting.