Ethnic differences in weight control practices among U.S. adolescents from 1995 to 2005

Y. May Chao, Emily M. Pisetsky, Lisa C. Dierker, Faith Anne Dohm, Francine Rosselli, Alexis M. May, Ruth H. Striegel-Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine trends in weight control practices from 1995 to 2005. Method: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System biennially assesses five weight control behaviors among nationally representative samples of United States high school students. Results: Across time, more females than males dieted (53.8% vs. 23.8%), used diet products (10% vs. 4.3%), purged (7.5% vs. 2.7%), exercised (66.5% vs. 46.9%), or vigorously exercised (42.8% vs. 36.8%). All weight control behaviors among males increased during the decade. Black females were less likely than Hispanic females, who were less likely than White females, to practice weight control. White males were less likely than Black males, who were less likely than Hispanic males, to practice weight control. The ethnic difference in weight control practices is consistent across time. Conclusion: All male adolescents are at increasing risk for developing eating disorder symptomatology, and Black females appear to continue to resist pressure to pursue thinness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-133
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Adolescents
  • Disordered eating
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnic differences
  • Trends
  • Weight control


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