Survey Finds Link Between Shoplifting and Eating Disorders

For the individual struggling with an eating disorder, she may already have enough on her mind without adding to her problems. According to a recent MDN report, however, there has been a link identified between shoplifting and eating disorders in women. A survey by Akagi-kohgen Hospital in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture suggests that women who habitually shoplift are very often also struggling with an eating disorder. This survey identified over 70 percent of female patients who were receiving treatment for kleptomania were also suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia. Hospital head, Michio Takemura noted that while shoplifting is a crime, treatment could help to prevent a recurrence. Takemura worked with colleagues to survey 132 male and female patients who had received treatment for kleptomania at the hospital and its affiliates in Tokyo. Of the 92 female patients, 74 percent also had eating disorders. Of the 40 males surveyed, only 10 percent had eating disorders, suggesting there is a much higher correlation between eating disorders and shoplifting among women as compared with men. A former House of Representatives member and author of a book that focuses on why some disabled persons repeatedly commit the same crime offered his own opinion that the response the law has to criminals with addictions needs to be reformed. He believes that putting addicted individuals into the isolation of prison will not solve the problem. It is important instead to treat these individuals as a part of society and help them to recover and contribute to society in a meaningful way.  

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