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REPORT: Finger length provides a clue about eating disorders!

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REPORT: Finger length provides a clue about eating disorders!

Post  Martijn (admin) on Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:29 am

Last month (aug 2010) Australian researchers presented a study which revealed how finger length could be related to anorexia and bulimia. The report shows that anorexic women tend to have a 'male-like' 2D:4D digit ratio, while bulimic women tend to have a very 'feminized' 2D:4D digit ratio.

A summary of the results:


Eating disorders are more common in females than in males and are believed to be caused, in part, by biological and hormonal factors. Digit ratio or 2D:4D (the ratio of the 2nd to the 4th digit) is considered to be a proxy for prenatal testosterone (PT) and prenatal oestrogen (PE) exposure. However, how 2D:4D may be related to type of eating pathology is unknown. The relationship between 2D:4D and eating disorder diagnosis was investigated in recovered and currently eating disordered (n = 31) and control (n = 99) women. Mean 2D:4D ratio was significantly lower (indicating higher levels of PT and lower levels of PE) in anorexic (AN) compared to bulimic (BN) women, with controls intermediary. In eating disordered women, 2D:4D was positively and significantly related to current weight, lowest weight and current BMI, with strongest associations for right 2D:4D. Among women, low 2D:4D is related to AN and high 2D:4D to BN, suggesting a differential causal influence of prenatal sex hormones on later eating pathology.

The 2nd to 4th digit ratio (2D:4D) and eating disorder diagnosis in women

PS. Earlier this summer another interesting study reported how the brain in anorexia works, see:


Martijn van Mensvoort
Hand researcher & psychologist in The Netherlands (Holland)
Presents: Multi-Perspective Palm Reading + the Global Palm Reading Network

Martijn (admin)

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