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Children as young as 10 vomit to lose weight, with highest rates in boys
Date:6/16/2011

the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in 2010, found that 4% of students had vomited or taken laxatives in the last 30 days to lose or stop gaining weight. And a South Australian study published in 2008 said that eating disorders had doubled in the last decade."

The Taiwan study found that 18% of the underweight children used vomiting as a weight-loss strategy, compared with 17% of obese children and 14% of overweight children. Normal weight children were least likely to vomit (12%).

A number of factors were associated with high levels of self-induced vomiting. For example, more than 21% of the children who vomited ate fried food every day, 19% ate desserts every day, 18% ate night-time snacks every day and 18% used a computer screen for more than two hours a day.

When the researchers carried out an odds ratio analysis, they found that using a computer screen for more than two hours a day increased the vomiting risk by 55%, eating fried food every day by 110% and having night-time snacks every day by 51%. They also found that children were less likely to make themselves sick if they slept more than eight hours a night and ate breakfast every day.

"Our study found that children as young as ten were aware of the importance of weight control, but used vomiting to control their weight" concludes Dr Liou. "This reinforces the need for public health campaigns that stress the negative impact that vomiting can have on their health and encourage them to tackle any weight issues in a healthy and responsible way.

"The findings also suggest that self-induced vomiting might serve as an early marker for the development of obesity and/or other eating and weight-related problems."


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Contact: Annette Whibley
annette.wizard@gmail.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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