From: ritualabuselinks on

How Childhood Trauma Can Cause Adult Obesity By Maia Szalavitz
Tuesday, Jan. 05, 2010

Felitti wondered if there was something similar barring weight loss in
other patients - or causing obesity itself. In the late '80s, he began
a systematic study of 286 obese people, and discovered that 50% had
been sexually abused as children. That rate is more than 50% higher
than the rate normally reported by women, and more than triple the
average rate in men. Indeed, the average rates of sexual abuse are
themselves unsettling: according to a large 2003 study conducted by
John Briere and Diana Elliott of the University of Southern
California, 14% of men and 32% of women said they were molested at
least once as children.

In recent years, studies by both Felitti and others have largely
confirmed the association between sexual abuse - as well as other
types of traumatic childhood experience - and eating disorders or
obesity. A 2007 study of more than 11,000 California women found that
those who had been abused as children were 27% more likely to be obese
as adults, compared with those who had not, after adjusting for other
factors. A 2009 study of more than 15,000 adolescents found that
sexual abuse in childhood raised the risk of obesity 66% in males in
adulthood. That study found no such effect in women, but did find a
higher risk of eating disorders in sexually abused girls.,8599,1951240,00.html