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Quick Uptakes
July 25, 2001

Magazine Ideals Wrong

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JAMA. 2001;286(4):409. doi:10.1001/jama.286.4.409-JQU10006-3-1

A study by researchers at Brigham Young University has found a positive statistical correlation between high school girls using certain unhealthy weight-control practices and the frequency of reading women's health and fitness magazines.

The study, published in the May/June issue of the American Journal of Health Education, surveyed 498 sophomore, junior, and senior girls at two unidentified Salt Lake City high schools.

In the survey, about 11% reported that they used laxatives for weight loss or weight control, 15% took appetite control or weight-loss pills, 9% made themselves vomit after meals, and 52% restricted their calories to 1200 a day or fewer at some point. Of the girls with unhealthy weight-control practices, researchers found that 80% of those who vomit, 73% who use appetite suppressants or weight-control pills, 60% who took laxatives, and 60% who restricted their diets to 1200 daily calories were frequent (at least once a month) readers of health and fitness magazines.

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