The Impact of COVID-19 on Psychiatric Traits of Eating Disorders Among Young Adults

COVID-19's Impact on Eating Disorders


  • Lydia Tong Bellaire High School
  • Anna Loonam Bellaire High School



Behavioral Science, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, COVID-19


Stress and anxiety are known to increase the likelihood of eating disorders. Because everyone was in lockdown, COVID19 was a big stress-inducer. Using this information, we collected data on the participant’s feelings before and after COVID19. We used R and Excel to perform correlations between the GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7) results from the data and found a significant increase in being concerned about weight after COVID19, feeling guilty after eating good food after COVID19, and feeling uncertain about the participant’s future after COVID19. These were all relative to feelings of anxiety the participants felt before COVID19. Using R, we constructed a multiple regression model with the data, which showed a statistically significant increase. Our multiple regression model also showed that the significant predictors were both after COVID19, demonstrating a negative impact of COVID19 on eating disorders. 


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Anna Loonam, Bellaire High School


References or Bibliography

Smink, F. R., van Hoeken, D. & Hoek, H. W. Epidemiology of eating disorders: incidence, prevalence and mortality rates. Curr Psychiatry Rep 14, 406-414, doi:10.1007/s11920-012-0282-y (2012).

Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H. G., Jr. & Kessler, R. C. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol Psychiatry 61, 348-358, doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.03.040 (2007).

Kaye, W. H., Fudge, J. L. & Paulus, M. New insights into symptoms and neurocircuit function of anorexia nervosa. Nat Rev Neurosci 10, 573-584, doi:10.1038/nrn2682 (2009).

Mattar, L., Huas, C., Duclos, J., Apfel, A. & Godart, N. Relationship between malnutrition and depression or anxiety in Anorexia Nervosa: a critical review of the literature. J Affect Disord 132, 311-318, doi:10.1016/j.jad.2010.09.014 (2011).

Esposito, R., Cieri, F., di Giannantonio, M. & Tartaro, A. The role of body image and self-perception in anorexia nervosa: the neuroimaging perspective. J Neuropsychol 12, 41-52, doi:10.1111/jnp.12106 (2018).

Misra, M. & Klibanski, A. Endocrine consequences of anorexia nervosa. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2, 581-592, doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(13)70180-3 (2014).

Grogan, K. et al. Family-related non-abuse adverse life experiences occurring for adults diagnosed with eating disorders: a systematic review. J Eat Disord 8, 36, doi:10.1186/s40337-020-00311-6 (2020).

Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Eck, K. & Quick, V. Psychometric Properties of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-Mini in United States University Students. Front Psychol 11, 550533, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.550533 (2020).

Ulfvebrand, S., Birgegard, A., Norring, C., Hogdahl, L. & von Hausswolff-Juhlin, Y. Psychiatric comorbidity in women and men with eating disorders results from a large clinical database. Psychiatry Res 230, 294-299, doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.09.008 (2015).

Asch, D. A. et al. Patient and Hospital Factors Associated With Differences in Mortality Rates Among Black and White US Medicare Beneficiaries Hospitalized With COVID-19 Infection. JAMA Netw Open 4, e2112842, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.12842 (2021).

Vuillier, L., May, L., Greville-Harris, M., Surman, R. & Moseley, R. L. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with eating disorders: the role of emotion regulation and exploration of online treatment experiences. J Eat Disord 9, 10, doi:10.1186/s40337-020-00362-9 (2021).

Machado, P. P. P. et al. Impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on a cohort of eating disorders patients. J Eat Disord 8, 57, doi:10.1186/s40337-020-00340-1 (2020).



How to Cite

Tong, L., & Loonam, A. . (2022). The Impact of COVID-19 on Psychiatric Traits of Eating Disorders Among Young Adults: COVID-19’s Impact on Eating Disorders. Journal of Student Research, 11(2).



HS Research Projects