Findings from Project EAT (population-based study of approximately 5000 teens):
- More than 1/2 of girls and 1/3 of boys engage in unhealthy weight control behaviors (e.g., fasting, vomiting, laxatives, skipping meals, or smoking to control appetite)
- Higher weight and overweight teens are more likely to engage in both binge-eating and unhealthy weight control than normal weight teens.
In fact, 20% of overweight girls and 6% of overweight boys report using laxatives, vomiting, diuretics, and diet pills (Neumark-Sztainer, Story, Hannan, Perry, & Irving, 2002).
Cogan, J. C., Smith, J. P. & Maine, M. D. (2008). The risks of a quick fix: A case against mandatory body mass index reporting laws. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, 16, 2-13.
Neumark-Sztainer, D., Story, M., Hannan, P. J., Perry, C. L. & Irving L. M. (2002). Weight- Related Concerns and Behaviors Among Overweight and Nonoverweight Adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 156(2), 171-178.
Body dissatisfaction and weight change behaviours have been shown to predict later physical and mental health difficulties, including weight gain and obesity on the one hand (Field et al., 2003; Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2006), and the development of eating disorders (EDs) on the other (Le Grange & Loeb, 2007).
Field, A. E., Austin, S. B., Taylor, C. B., Malspeis, S., Rosner, B., Rockett, H. R., Gillman, M. W., & Colditz, G.A. (2003). Relation between dieting and weight change among preadolescents and adolescents. Pediatrics, 112, 900-906.
Neumark-Sztainer, D., van den Berg, P., Hannan, PJ., & Story, M. (2006). Self-weighing in adolescents: helpful or harmful: longitudinal associations with body weight changes and disordered eating. Journal of Adolescent Health, 39, 811-818.
Le Grange, D., & Loeb, KL. (2007). Early identification and treatment of eating disorders: prodrome to syndrome. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 1, 27-39.