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Eating disorders in adolescents
Date:11/19/2007

s are the most likely. Among males, white adolescents are the least likely to practice weight control and Hispanic adolescents are the most likely. The authors suggest that Hispanics may be more motivated to control their weight due to the higher prevalence of overweight among these young men.

The increase in weight control behaviors among males indicates that the social pressure for men to achieve unrealistic body ideals is growing, putting young males at an increased risk of body dissatisfaction and developing an eating disorder, according to the authors. Considering that males have negative attitudes toward treatment-seeking and are less likely than females to seek treatment, efforts should be made to increase awareness of eating disorder symptomatology in male adolescents, and future prevention efforts should target male as well as female adolescents, they state.

The study reported the 10-year trends but also showed that some behaviors fluctuated during this period. The authors suggest that some practices, such as dieting, may be sensitive to changes in certain aspects of culture, such as fashion and topics of media focus, or seasonal variations, since it was not known at what time of year the YRBSS was administered.

Surprisingly, unlike previous studies, the current study did not find that ethnic differences in weight control behavior are decreasing. The authors suggest that black women tend to have more flexible concepts of beauty, which may make them less vulnerable to social pressure. However, this may put them at increased risk for becoming overweight, given the current environment of super-sized portions of nutritionally deficient foods.

The authors conclude, Males, especially ethnic minority males, are under studied in this field, and this study provides key information about the prevalence of weight control practices in a large, diverse sample of male adolescents and raises important questions about the factors con
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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