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December 1995

Body Dissatisfaction and Unhealthy Weight-Control Practices Among Adolescents With and Without Chronic Illness: A Population-Based Study

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health (Drs Neumark-Sztainer, Garwick, and Blum), and the Divisions ofEpidemiology (Dr Story) and Health Management and Policy (Dr Resnick), School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(12):1330-1335. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170250036005

Objective:  To compare body dissatisfaction and unhealthy weight-loss practices among adolescents with and without chronic illness.

Design:  Survey.

Participants:  The sample consisted of 2149 adolescent boys and girls with diabetes, asthma, attention deficit disorder, physical disabilities, or seizure disorders; and a comparison group of 1381 adolescents without chronic illness.

Main Outcome Measures:  Body concerns, binge eating, frequent dieting, vomiting, and laxative or diuretic use among adolescents.

Results:  Adolescents with chronic illness reported higher body dissatisfaction and engaged in more high-risk weight-loss practices than adolescents without chronic illness. This trend was consistent across the different conditions and was not limited to those with a nutrition-related condition such as diabetes. The trend remained after conducting logistic regression and controlling for age, race, socioeconomic status, and body mass index.

Conclusions:  Adolescents with chronic illness are at high risk for engaging in unhealthy weight-loss practices and should be screened and targeted for prevention and treatment.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:1330-1335)

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