Eating disorders affect 12-25% of college women. While previous research has established a positive correlation between sorority membership and eating disorders, causality has not yet been proven. A new IZA Discussion Paper by Susan Averett, Sabrina Terrizzi and Yang Wang makes an attempt using data from the American College Health Association. Using various econometric methods, the authors demonstrate that sorority membership leads to insufficient food intake of their members. The authors also show that females who tend to be more resilient to eating disorders are more likely to become a sorority member in the first place. This implies that if sororities were less selective, one would expect to see even more adverse weight-related outcomes.
The effect of sorority membership on eating disorders
Mentioned PapersIZA Discussion Paper No. 7512 The Effect of Sorority Membership on Eating Disorders and Body Mass Index
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