Obesity, disordered eating, and eating disorders in a longitudinal study of adolescents: how do dieters fare 5 years later?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To determine if adolescents who report dieting and different weight-control behaviors are at increased or decreased risk for gains in body mass index, overweight status, binge eating, extreme weight-control behaviors, and eating disorders 5 years later. DESIGN: Population-based 5-year longitudinal study. PARTICIPANTS: Adolescents (N=2,516) from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds who completed Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) surveys in 1999 (Time 1) and 2004 (Time 2). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Weight status, binge eating, extreme weight control, and self-reported eating disorder. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Multiple linear and logistic regressions. RESULTS: Adolescents using unhealthful weight-control behaviors at Time 1 increased their body mass index by about 1 unit more than adolescents not using any weight-control behaviors and were at approximately three times greater risk for being overweight at Time 2 (odds ratio [OR]=2.7 for girls; OR=3.2 for boys). Adolescents using unhealthful weight-control behaviors were also at increased risk for binge eating with loss of control (OR=6.4 for girls; OR=5.9 for boys) and for extreme weight-control behaviors such as self-induced vomiting and use of diet pills, laxatives, and diuretics (OR=2.5 for girls; OR=4.8 for boys) 5 years later, compared with adolescents not using any weight-control behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Dieting and unhealthful weight-control behaviors predict outcomes related to obesity and eating disorders 5 years later. A shift away from dieting and drastic weight-control measures toward the long-term implementation of healthful eating and physical activity behaviors is needed to prevent obesity and eating disorders in adolescents.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Neumark-Sztainer, D; Wall, M; Guo, J; Story, M; Haines, J; Eisenberg, M

Published Date

  • April 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 106 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 559 - 568

PubMed ID

  • 16567152

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-8223

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jada.2006.01.003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States