Participation in Weight-Related Sports Is Associated with Higher Use of Unhealthful Weight-Control Behaviors and Steroid Use

Maggie Vertalino, Marla E. Eisenberg, Mary T Story, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether adolescents who participate in a weight-related sport are at increased risk for unhealthful weight-control behaviors and steroid use. Design: This was a population-based study (Project EAT [Eating Among Teens]). Subjects/Setting: Subjects were 4,746 adolescents (50.2% males, 49.8% females) from 31 public middle and high schools in the Minneapolis/St Paul area of Minnesota. Statistical Analysis Performed: Descriptive statistics, χ2 analyses, and multiple logistic regression were used. Data were adjusted for sociodemographic variables and body mass index. Main Outcome Variables: Unhealthful weight-control behaviors and steroid use. Results: More males (20.4%) than females (16.2%) reported participation in a weight-related sport. Males who reported participation in a weight-related sport had an increased risk of past-week vomiting (odds ratio [OR]=5.7), laxative use (OR=6.8), as well as past-year vomiting (OR=4.9), laxative use (OR=3.4), diuretic use (OR=6.0), and steroid use (OR=3.7), compared with those males who did not report participation. Females who reported participation in a weight-related sport had an increased risk of past week vomiting (OR=2.1), as well as past year vomiting (OR=2.0), laxative use (OR=2.6), and steroid use (OR=2.6), compared with those who did not report participation in a weight-related sport. Conclusions: The current study shows that participation in a sport that adolescents perceive as emphasizing weight is strongly associated with unhealthful weight-control behaviors and steroid use. Preventive efforts, targeting parents, coaches, and adolescents are needed to decrease this risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Volume107
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

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