Ethnic differences in weight control practices among U. S. adolescents from 1995-2005

Faith-Anne Dohm, Fairfield University

Copyright 2008 Wiley Blackwell

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Objective: To examine trends in weight control practices from 1995 to 2005. Method: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System biennially assesses five weight control behaviors among nationally representative samples of United States high school students. Results: Across time, more females than males dieted (53.8% vs. 23.8%), used diet products (10% vs. 4.3%), purged (7.5% vs. 2.7%), exercised (66.5% vs. 46.9%), or vigorously exercised (42.8% vs. 36.8%). All weight control behaviors among males increased during the decade. Black females were less likely than Hispanic females, who were less likely than White females, to practice weight control. White males were less likely than Black males, who were less likely than Hispanic males, to practice weight control. The ethnic difference in weight control practices is consistent across time. Conclusion: All male adolescents are at increasing risk for developing eating disorder symptomatology, and Black females appear to continue to resist pressure to pursue thinness. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2008 KWs: weight control, disordered eating, trends, ethnic differences, epidemiology, adolescents The study examined trends in weight control practices from 1995 to 2005.