Eating disorders affect more than 28 million people nationwide. Scientists have established that early intervention is essential for minimizing harm, but researchers have historically known little about disordered eating that occurs in children.

In a new study of nearly 12,000 9- and 10-year-olds published in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers have found how age, sex, weight and puberty stage were related to disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Contrary to cultural assumptions, the researchers found that boys and girls were equally likely to engage in disordered eating. The analysis also revealed that children with higher body mass indexes (BMIs), as well as those further along in puberty, faced an elevated risk.

To read more about the study’s findings, click here.