Association of web-based weight loss information use with weight reduction behaviors in adolescent women

  • Laz T
  • Berenson A
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Purpose: To examine the association between seeking weight loss information from the Internet and weight loss behaviors. Methods: A self-administered survey was conducted on 3,181 women, aged 1624 years, between August 2008 and August 2010. Questions were asked on use of the Internet to obtain weight loss information and various weight loss practices. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between seeking weight loss information online and practicing these weight loss behaviors. Results: In all, 39% used the Internet to seek weight loss information. Women who obtained weight loss information from the Internet were more likely to exercise (odds ratio [OR]: 1.31, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.071.60), use diet pills (OR: 4.14, 95% CI: 2.935.84), laxatives (OR: 2.02, 95% CI: 1.153.54), diuretics (OR: 7.89, 95% CI: 2.8821.61), vomit after eating (OR: 2.56, 95% CI: 1.245.30), skip meals (OR: 2.77, 95% CI: 2.263.39), smoke more cigarettes (OR: 1.56, 95% CI: 1.142.14), and stop eating carbohydrates (OR: 3.09, 95% CI: 1.815.26) after adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and education. Conclusions: Many young women engage in unhealthy weight loss behaviors which they may learn online. Interventions are needed to instruct young women on safe practices to lose weight. © 2011 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent women
  • Internet use
  • Unhealthy weight loss behavior
  • Weight loss information

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  • Tabassum H. Laz

  • Abbey B. Berenson

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