Disordered weight control behaviors in early adolescent boys and girls of color: an under-recognized factor in the epidemic of childhood overweight.

Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 01/2011; 48(1):109-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.05.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ethnic disparities in childhood overweight are well-documented. In addition, disordered weight control behaviors (DWCB) have been linked to overweight and weight gain in multiple ways, but little is known about DWCB in youth of color, especially boys. We examined the distribution and determinants of ethnic and gender disparities in DWCB in early adolescents.
In fall 2005, 47 Massachusetts middle schools participating in the Healthy Choices overweight prevention study administered a self-report baseline survey assessing student sociodemographics, height, weight, and DWCB (vomiting or use of laxatives or diet pills in the past month to control weight). Data from 16,978 girls and boys were used in multivariate logistic regression models to estimate the odds of DWCB in youth of color compared with their white peers, controlling for individual- and school-level factors.
Among white youth, 2.7% of girls and 2.3% of boys reported DWCB. The odds of DWCB were elevated 2-10 times in most ethnic groups relative to whites. Disparities were attenuated but persisted after controlling for multiple individual- and school-level factors.
Ethnic disparities in DWCB must be considered in efforts to address the epidemic of childhood overweight.

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