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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-65904

Iorio, Daniela; Sovinsky, Michelle (2012). How bulimia nervosa relates to addictive behavior. Working paper series / Department of Economics 95, University of Zurich.



Using longitudinal data that tracks bulimic behavior among young girls (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study), we examine (1) whether bulimic behavior is consistent with addiction criteria as stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV (APA, 1994); and 2) whether the persistence in bulimia nervosa (BN) reflects tolerance formed from an addiction or if it can be attributed to slow learning about the deleterious health effects of BN. Making the case for treating BN as an addiction has important policy implications. First, it suggests that the timing of educational policy and treatment is crucial: preventive educational programs aimed at instructing girls about the deleterious health effects of BN, as well as treatment interventions, will be most effective if provided in the early stages. Second, it would put those exhibiting BN on more equal footing (from a treatment reimbursement perspective) with individuals with drug or alcohol addictions.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:I1
Uncontrolled Keywords:Eating disorders, bulimia nervosa, addiction
Date:October 2012
Deposited On:26 Oct 2012 15:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:02
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:16
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp095.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php

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