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J Adolesc Health. 2018 Sep;63(3):335-341. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.03.022.

Differential Risk Factors for Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors by Sex and Weight Status Among U.S. Adolescents.

Author information

1
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Electronic address: jasonmnagata@gmail.com.
2
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
3
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, Texas.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
5
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine if previously reported risk factors for the development of unhealthy weight control behaviors differ by sex and weight status using a nationally representative longitudinal sample of adolescents followed through young adulthood.

METHODS:

We used nationally representative longitudinal cohort data collected from baseline (11-18 years old, 1994-1995, Wave I) and seven-year follow-up (18-24 years old, 2001-2002, Wave III) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). We examined potential risk factors (adverse childhood events and adolescent family, school, body image, and mental health factors) for the development of unhealthy weight control behaviors including vomiting, fasting/skipping meals, or laxative/diuretic use to lose weight at seven-year follow-up in young adulthood.

RESULTS:

Of the 14,322 included subjects, 11% reported unhealthy weight control behavior at follow-up in young adulthood, with the highest proportion (23.7%) among overweight/obese females and the lowest proportion (3.7%) among underweight/normal weight males. All adolescent family factors were significantly associated with unhealthy weight control behaviors in underweight/normal weight females, whereas none were significantly associated in overweight/obese males. Similar trends were noted for adverse childhood events, and adolescent school and community factors. Adolescent self-perception of being overweight was associated with young adult unhealthy weight control behaviors among all subgroups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Risk factors for unhealthy weight control behaviors may differ based on sex and weight status. Screening, prevention, and treatment interventions for unhealthy weight control behaviors in adolescents and young adults may need to be tailored based on sex and weight status.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Body image; Disordered eating behaviors; Eating behavior; Eating disorders; Family functioning; Obesity; Overweight; Young adults

PMID:
30236999
PMCID:
PMC6152843
DOI:
10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.03.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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