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Eating disorders in adolescents
Date:11/19/2007

Eating disorders in the U.S. among ethnic groups were thought to be rare, but recent studies have shown that many cultures are now exposed to the thin beauty ideal. As a result, experts expect to see an increase in eating disorder symptoms among ethnic groups. It is also suspected that eating disorders and weight control behaviors may be increasing among adolescent boys. Although research has shown that eating disorders begin during adolescence, few epidemiological studies have been conducted with teens and those that have examined weight control practices among adolescents are too varied to be able to discern trends.

A new study, one of the first to examine trends in adolescent weight control behaviors over a 10-year period, found that the prevalence of these behaviors in male adolescents significantly increased, while black females appear to resist pressure to pursue thinness. The study was published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/eat), the official journal of the Academy for Eating Disorders.

Led by Y. May Chao of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, researchers examined data from nationally representative samples of high school students from 1995 to 2005. The data was available via the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), a survey conducted every two years since 1991 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the prevalence of health-risk behaviors among teens.

The results showed that the prevalence of dieting and diet product use among female adolescents significantly increased between 1995 and 2005 and as did the prevalence of all weight control behaviors (including dieting, diet product use, purging, exercise and vigorous exercise) among males. The data suggested that black female adolescents are the least likely to practice weight control, while white female adolescent
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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