Teens With Unhealthy Weight-Control Behavior Are More Likely to Abuse Drugs

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bar chart showing higher prevalence of poor behaviors among teens with disordered eating versus no disorders in both boys and girls High school students who attempt to control weight by engaging in unhealthy behaviors - fasting, purging, or using diet aids without a doctor's advice - are also more likely to have substance abuse problems. Only lifetime marijuana use in girls was lower among those who engaged in unhealthy weight-control behaviors. Among the 13,917 teens who participated in the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 20 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys reported unhealthy weight-control behaviors during the past month.


Pisetsky, E.M. et al. Disordered eating and substance use in high-school students: Results from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.International Journal of Eating Disorders 41(5):464-470, 2008. [Abstract]