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Health Psychol. 1995 Nov;14(6):548-55.

Dieting behaviors and weight change history in female adolescents.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55454-1015, USA.


The prevalence of dieting, weight change history, and specific weight loss behaviors was examined in a population-based sample of 1,015 female 9th-12th graders. Healthy weight loss behaviors were reported much more frequently than unhealthy weight loss behaviors (e.g., healthy behaviors: exercise = 32.4%, decrease fat intake = 26.0%, reduce snacks = 25.0%, reduce kilocalorie intake = 22.4%; unhealthy behaviors: fasting = 8.1%, diet pills = 5.4%, vomiting = 4.4%). Obesity status and restrained eating scores were positively related to greater history of weight loss episodes, pounds lost, and weight fluctuations and to greater use of healthy weight loss methods and weight loss programs. Implications for public health recommendations regarding dieting and its associated behaviors in female adolescents are discussed.

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