Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms|Cookies

Risk Factors of Childhood Obesity

  • Published: 2009-07-30 : Author: University of Minnesota
  • Synopsis: Researchers found that disordered eating habits among overweight youth are linked to specific tendencies for both males and females.

Main Document

Overweight youth with certain socio-environmental, psychological, and behavioral tendencies, such as reading magazine articles about dieting, reporting a lack of family connectedness, placing a high importance on weight, and reporting having participated in unhealthy weight control behaviors, are more likely to suffer from eating disorders.

U of M study identifies risk factors of disordered eating in overweight youth

University of Minnesota Project Eating Among Teens (EAT) researchers have identified factors that may increase overweight adolescents' risk of engaging in extreme weight control behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, the use of diet pills, laxatives, and diuretics, as well as binge eating. Overweight youth with certain socio-environmental, psychological, and behavioral tendencies, such as reading magazine articles about dieting, reporting a lack of family connectedness, placing a high importance on weight, and reporting having participated in unhealthy weight control behaviors, are more likely to suffer from eating disorders.

Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., School of Public Health, and colleagues used data from Project EAT, an ongoing study that assessed eating and weight-related behaviors in 4,746 adolescents from 31 urban Minneapolis-St. Paul schools during the 1998-99 academic year. Youth were surveyed at two time points; the first occurring when participants were in middle school and high school, and the second occurring five years later.

Researchers found that disordered eating habits among overweight youth are linked to specific tendencies for both males and females, but a number of specific differences between genders were noticed. For example, increased hours of moderate to extreme physical activity and lower self-esteem predicted higher risk for disordered eating among females. For males, depressive symptoms, poor eating patterns, including high fast food and sweetened beverage intake, increased their risk of disordered eating. These findings link different patterns of behaviors and different potential motivators for overweight male and female adolescents to developing eating disorders.

"Further exploration of these gender differences may be important in understanding who is at highest risk for developing disordered eating behaviors and whether different intervention strategies may be needed to prevent disordered eating among males and females," said Nancy Sherwood, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and a co-author of the study.

Findings from this study also suggest the importance of strong family relationships for overweight adolescents. These youth face pressures above and beyond those faced by their non-overweight peers due to strong social pressures to be thin. Lack of family connectedness, including not eating family meals together, was found to increase the risk of disordered eating behaviors in both young males and females.

While an important public health priority is to prevent obesity, it is also important to prevent the use of disordered eating behaviors among overweight adolescents. Findings from this study indicate the importance of working with overweight youth to prevent an unhealthy preoccupation with weight, promote a positive psychological well-being, avoid unhealthy weight control behaviors, and encourage family connectedness.

Discussion

• Discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Similar Topics

1 : Evaluation of Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program Examines Transdisciplinary Doctoral Training Program : University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
2 : Majority of Parents Do Not Believe Their Child's BMI Report Card : SAGE.
3 : More Obese Children and Adolescents Than Underweight by 2022 : World Health Organization (WHO).
4 : Childhood Obesity - A Psychological Disorder? : Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
5 : Trend Reversal in Childhood Obesity - BMI Decline in 8 Yr Old Boys : University of Gothenburg.
From our Childhood Obesity section - Full List (82 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
2 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
3 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
4 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton
5 : St. Louis HELP Medical Equipment Donation Drive Generates Record-Breaking Results
6 : People Who Snore Suffer from Palate Nerve and Muscle Damage
7 : How Our Ancestors with Autistic Traits Led a Revolution in Ice Age Art
8 : Housing and Disabled People: Britains Hidden Crisis


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™