Disordered eating in adolescents with type 1 diabetes: risk factors and screening recommendations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Current opinion in pediatrics




PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Adolescents with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) are at significantly greater risk for disordered eating behaviors compared to their peers without T1D. Given that this is a dangerous and potentially lethal combination, this review aims to support pediatric medical providers in increasing competence in identification, assessment, and prevention of disordered eating behaviors in adolescents with T1D. RECENT FINDINGS: This review provides an up-to-date synthesis of unique risk factors for disordered eating behaviors in adolescents with T1D, including the daily diabetes management tasks, effects of insulin on weight and hunger, family conflict, and reinforcement from their environment for disordered behaviors. This review recommends two brief screening tools, the Diabetes Eating Problems Survey-Revised (DEPS-R) and Modified SCOFF (mSCOFF), to be used in busy practices; it also provides practical strategies for providersto use with patients in the form of effective, nonjudgmental language. SUMMARY: A clear understanding of unique experiences impacting adolescents with T1D may increase use of evidence-based screening tools and identification of disordered eating behaviors among a high-risk population in clinic/practice. In addition, providers' intentional use of nonjudgmental and de-stigmatizing language may lead to more positive interactions for adolescents and willingness to engage in further treatment.


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences