Smoking and alcohol excesses: Diets increase risky behavior in adolescent girls
Losing weight can make an important contribution to better health, but those who struggle with it on a diet often remain unsuccessful. Because of the so-called yo-yo effect, the weight quickly rises again after the special nutritional program. Diets have other drawbacks: they make teenage girls more susceptible to smoking and alcohol abuse.
Losing weight is not always good for your health
Whether it's because you have a little too much extra pounds on your ribs, you want to feel fitter or you want to do something good for your health: There are many reasons why people want to reduce their weight. However, experts generally advise dieters to lose weight; because according to scientific studies, these bring almost nothing. Rather, in many cases they cause the excess weight to increase further due to the yo-yo effect. Diets have another disadvantage. Canadian researchers are now reporting that such nutritional programs increase the risk of smoking and alcohol abuse in adolescent women.
Diets can promote health-threatening behaviors
According to a study by the University of Waterloo (Canada), female adolescents who are on a diet are more likely to adopt health-threatening behaviors such as smoking, alcohol abuse, and skipping breakfast.
As the university reported in a statement, the study showed that female teenagers who were on a diet were more likely to have one or more clumps of high-risk behavior three years later than those who were not.
"It seems obvious that there is a connection between diets and behaviors such as smoking and skipping meals, but the explanation for something like binge drinking is not so clear," said study leader Amanda Raffoul.
Enormous pressure on pubescent girls
"Our results suggest that diets and other risky health behaviors can be linked to the underlying factors, such as poor body image," said the expert.
"The link between dieting and other health-threatening behaviors is worrying as 70 percent of girls have reported dieting in the past three years," said Raffoul.
"Post-puberty changes often lead to weight gain in girls and there is incredible pressure on social media and elsewhere to maintain and maintain the ideal body."
Understand complex interactions better
To get their results, the researchers looked at data from more than 3,300 high school girls in Ontario who participated in a study called “COMPASS”.
The study, which was published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, found that girls who went on a diet smoked 1.6 times more often and skipped breakfast, and 1.5 times more often, and participated in binge drinking .
"Deliberate weight loss should not be encouraged, especially among this population, as well-meaning initiatives that promote dieting may do more harm than good," said Raffoul.
"Instead, we should focus more on health than weight as a health indicator."
Sharon Kirkpatrick, co-author of the study, added: "This study highlights the importance of combining factors related to health, including behaviors and the variety of influences on them."
And: "Only if we understand the complex interactions of these factors can we identify effective interventions and predict and monitor possible unintended effects of such interventions." (Ad)