A study has found that intermittent fasting may lead to an eating disorder

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A new study shows that intermittent fasting is associated with a higher prevalence of eating disorder, especially among young women. Cameron Whitman / Stocksy
  • Intermittent fasting involves fasting for specific periods, ranging from fasting during certain hours of the day to certain days of the week.
  • Evidence is mixed about the health benefits of intermittent fasting.
  • New research from a diverse study finds that intermittent fasting is associated with a higher prevalence of disordered eating, behavior, and mental disorders, especially among young women.
  • Some people can practice intermittent fasting if they keep a few safety tips in mind.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a popular dietary trend among health and fitness enthusiasts, which involves not eating during planned periods of time.

While intermittent fasting may offer some health benefits, researchers are still working to understand the full impact of this eating pattern.

A recent study published in eating behaviours An investigation into the practice of intermittent fasting among adolescents and young adults in Canada.

The researchers found a relationship between intermittent fasting and the behaviors and psychopathology of eating disorders and other risky behaviors in some members of this age group.

The results indicate that more research is needed into the potential risks of intermittent fasting.

intermittent fasting It can take several different forms.

A typical example of an IF is fasting two non-consecutive days a week.

Another method is to eat only during certain times of the day. For example, the 16/8 method involves fasting for 16 hours and eating only for 8 hours.

Blanca GarciaRDN, a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian and dietitian with the Measurement Instrumentation Database for the Social Sciences (MIDSS), not involved in the study, noted the potential benefits of eating within certain time frames. Medical news today:

“With proper guidance from a registered dietitian, the client can be instructed to choose foods that are balanced in the 16:8 way; I like this method because it has three meals in a workday. A chronic dieter can skip meals or avoid many good foods.”

Some evidence suggests that intermittent fasting can contribute to weight loss and provide some health benefits.

Intermittent fasting may help improve insulin sensitivity and heart health. It may also help prevent disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

However, there is Possible defects for intermittent fasting.

For example, intermittent fasting may increase the risk of developing hypoglycemia and can lead to muscle wasting if a person does not get enough protein.

For some people and groups such as young children and the elderly, fasting can be dangerous and should be avoided.

In addition, many aspects of the potential disadvantages of intermittent fasting have not been studied.

In this study, researchers examined the relationship between intermittent fasting and eating disorders among adolescents and young adults.

His study combined data from the Canadian Adolescent Health Behavior Study.

The researchers included 2,762 teens and young adults in their analysis, including women, men, and transgender or gender non-conforming individuals recruited via social media.

The researchers found that intermittent fasting was extremely popular in this age group.

Study author Kyle T JansonPh.D., MSW, Assistant Professor and Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work at the University of Toronto, Canada, explained to MNT:

“if [Intermittent fasting] It was very popular among our sample, including 48% of women, 38% of men, and 52% of transgender/gender nonconforming participants, and participants who had fasted, on average, 100 days in the past 12 months.”

The researchers used an eating disorder screening questionnaire to examine behaviors and psychological disorders. They wanted to see how similar these attitudes and patterns were to those of people with eating disorders.

The questionnaire looked at participants’ dietary restrictions and concerns about weight, shape, and eating. They also looked at disordered eating behaviors, such as overeating, compulsive exercise, and use of laxatives.

“Among all groups (men, women, and transgender individuals), any engagement in intermittent fasting (IF) in the past 12 months was associated with more eating disorder-related attitudes and behaviors,” Ganson explained.

“In addition, among women, in particular, IF was associated with all eating disorder behaviors, including binge eating, vomiting, use of laxatives, and compulsive exercise, while among men, IF was associated with compulsive exercise.”

The findings indicate the need for more research into the potential harmful effects of intermittent fasting, particularly among young adults.

While the new research provides insight into some of the potential risks of intermittent fasting, it has several limitations.

First, the study cannot determine whether intermittent fasting causes eating disorders or vice versa.

In addition, data collection methods relied heavily on participants’ self-reporting, which could lead to potential errors. While the sample was diverse, there was still potential for selection bias based on the methods used.

There was also a possibility for participants to interpret the survey questions differently, which increases the risk of response bias. Finally, the questions may not have captured all cognition and behavior related to the eating disorder.

All these limitations indicate the need for more research in this area.

Despite these challenges, healthcare professionals can still gather insight. Ganson noted some of the clinical implications of the research:

Data from this study suggest that IF may be problematic and associated with severe and harmful eating disorder attitudes and behaviors. Healthcare professionals need to be aware of these associated behaviors, as well as understand contemporary dietary trends such as IF that are commonly discussed among young people, especially on social media. Thus, more comprehensive assessments need to be made among young people regarding dietary practices and appropriate guidance [given] when necessary.”

People in some groups should not engage in intermittent fasting, such as those who are immunocompromised or people with certain hormonal imbalances.

The results of this study indicate the potential risks of intermittent fasting among young adults and adolescents.

However, some people may engage in intermittent fasting safely By understanding the facts and gathering accurate insight from specialists. It is also important to understand that everyone has different needs and risks.

If you’re interested in trying intermittent fasting, Garcia recommended the following tips for staying healthy:

  • Meet a registered dietitian who can teach you good food choices.
  • Choose a method that gives you daily nutrition.
  • Avoid overindulging in high-calorie foods and junk foods, but instead include what you love in small doses daily. (For example, if you like cookies, 1 or 2 cookies a day is fine.)

Non-scholarly author and registered dietitian Anastasia GyalorisCDN, a registered dietitian in Brooklyn, NY, offer some safety considerations to keep in mind:

Those who choose to try intermittent fasting should continue to strive to eat adequate balanced meals during their limited intake, filled with whole foods and minimally processed, to ensure they are getting enough nutrients into their bodies. Second, since hunger and low energy are effects The main aspect of intermittent fasting, however, is that it is essential to listen to your body if you are fasting and have reached a point of extreme weakness [or] Dizziness Please eat something, even if it’s just a small nutritious snack. “

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