Thursday, January 3, 2019

Latin American countries lead in Google search volumes for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: Implications for global mental health research.

The Eating Disorder Journal
(January 2019, Vol. 20, No.1)

Although eating disorders occur worldwide, prevalence data beyond Euro-American contexts are sparse, and eating disorders largely remain outside global mental health agendas. This study aims to address this gap in the epidemiological literature through a global infodemiological comparison of Google search volumes for the topics "Anorexia nervosa" and "Bulimia nervosa." METHOD: Data were generated through Google Trends, a tool that assesses the relative search volumes of keywords and topics. Google Trends data, collected from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2016, were obtained for the relative search volumes of the topics "Anorexia nervosa" and "Bulimia nervosa" worldwide. RESULTS: The findings revealed that Latin American countries accounted for the top 10 in search volume for both topics, with Mexico ranked first until 2016, when Bolivia rose to the top of the list. DISCUSSION: The results suggest that eating disorders are of considerable and consistent salience across Latin America, and that population-based, nationally representative studies to assess the prevalence of eating disorders in Latin American countries should be prioritized within global mental health research agendas. Int J Eat Disord. 2018 Nov 26. doi: 10.1002/eat.22969. [Epub ahead of print]

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