HealthDay News/Dr. Tango--Eating disorders rose significantly among American boys between 1995 and 2005, according to a study that examined weight-control behaviors among high school students.
The study, based on an analysis of national data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, identified a large increase in all forms of weight-control behaviors among males, such as dieting, diet-product use, purging, exercise, and vigorous exercise.
Hispanic males were more likely to practice weight control, while white males were least likely, according to the authors of the study led by Y. May Chao of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
They also found a significant overall increase in dieting and diet-product use among adolescents. According to the researchers, white females were more likely to practice weight control while black females were least likely.
The study authors said that the increased incidence of weight-control behaviors noted in males suggest growing social pressures for males to achieve unrealistic body expectations, increasing the risk of dissatisfaction with their bodies and eating disorders.
"Considering that males have negative attitudes toward treatment-seeking and are less likely than females to seek treatment, efforts should be made to increase awareness of eating disorder symptoms in male adolescents, and future prevention efforts should target male as well as female adolescents," the researchers wrote.
The study was published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
The Nemours Foundation has more information on teen body image and self-esteem.
SOURCE: International Journal of Eating Disorders, news release, Nov. 19, 2007 © Copyright 2007, ScoutNews, LLC
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