Illegal drug use is associated with abnormal weight in teens

A survey of more than 33,000 Italian high school students reveals that both underweight and overweight teens consume 20 to 40% more illegal drugs than their normal-weight peers.

Further analysis showed that the relationship between these two factors was largely mediated by such as self-esteem, parents' educational level, and friendships.

Based on these results, the authors conclude that abnormal weight and substance abuse are not directly related in a cause-effect relationship, but instead are likely both due to common underlying social factors and dissatisfaction.

"Eating disorders have largely increased during the last decades, and obesity is a major public-health problem, especially since the phenomenon is spreading among children. Thus we believe that the results are important to better define targeted interventions", says Dr. Sabrina Moinaro.

More information: Denoth F, Siciliano V, Iozzo P, Fortunato L, Molinaro S (2011) The Association between Overweight and Illegal Drug Consumption in Adolescents: Is There an Underlying Influence of the Sociocultural Environment? PLoS ONE 6(11): e27358. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027358

Related Stories

Most college students wish they were thinner, study shows

date Nov 20, 2007

Most normal-weight women -- almost 90 percent in a Cornell study of 310 college students -- yearn to be thinner. Half of underweight women want to lose even more weight, or stay just the way they are, thank you very much.

Pre-pregnancy overweight may program teen asthma symptoms

date Aug 16, 2011

Mums who are overweight or obese when they become pregnant may be programming their children to have asthma-like respiratory symptoms during adolescence, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology an ...

Recommended for you

Breastfeeding protects against environmental pollution

date May 22, 2015

Living in a city with a high level of vehicle traffic or close to a steel works means living with two intense sources of environmental pollution. However, a study conducted by the UPV/EHU researcher Aitana ...

When it comes to hearing, diet may trump noise exposure

date May 22, 2015

Although the old wives' tale about carrots being good for your eyesight has been debunked, University of Florida researchers have found a link between healthy eating and another of your five senses: hearing.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.