• Lykke Nygaard Sparre
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
This project is about disordered eating behavior in people with type 1 diabetes, what it looks like and how it differs from traditional clinical eating disorders. The method is qualitative phenomenological interviews with 4 different participants with T1D. All participants were women and between 20-50 years old. The background for the chosen method is a lack of understanding in the field of how eating disordered behavior in T1D should be conceptualized as very little seems to be known about it. While there is discussion about how it may differ from disordered eating and eating disorders in non-type 1 populations there does not seem to be consensus or a stable empirical foundation for the conclusions and quantitative measures that have been developed. It is here suggested that a method such as the one employed here may be one of the first steps in developing such an empirical foundation.

Through Reflexive Thematic analysis of the dataset 5 different themes were developed: Strained Body Image, Control of Chaos, Fear, Limitation of Agency, and the Role of Health care providers. These themes were then discussed with the purpose of comparing them to clinical eating disorders and through that discussion they do indeed share some similarities and differences. First of all, the element of bad body image appears to not be very different from clinical eating disorders. Both types of disordered eating additionally seems to be problematic due to the limitation of freedom which some, but not all, food restrictions may cause.

Anxiety also seems to be a commonality all though anxiety in people with type 1 is usually related to low blood sugar or long term complications and thusly the food restrictions stemming from that anxiety is usually aimed at blood sugar control rather than weight management. The need for control was also a commonality but once again for people with type 1 the control is more so about blood sugar management than weight control. It is suggested that disordered eating in type 1 diabetes may be more similar to feeding disorders rather than eating disordered as the source of anxiety and need for control is not always related to weight. It is also suggested that health care providers may play a large role in the development and maintenance of disordered eating in their type 1 patients if they are not careful, implying that they need to be very aware of their care.
Publication date1 Jun 2023
Number of pages62
ID: 532477201