Covariations of Adolescent Weight-control, Health-risk and Health-promoting Behaviors

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Objectives: To assess the prevalence of dieting and investigate clusters of risk behaviors among adolescents. Methods: Data were secured from a random sample of adolescents (4636) and analyzed using bivariate methods and logistic regression. Results: From the survey sample, 19.2% adolescents were classified as extreme, 43.2% as moderate dieters, 37.2% as nondieters. Extreme dieters were more likely to use alcohol, cigarettes, and/or marijuana and to attempt suicide and less likely to practice vigorous exercise. Moderate dieters were less likely to use cigarettes, marijuana and more likely to engage in vigorous exercise, with differences across gender-race categories. Conclusions: Results have relevance for developing multicomponent programs for adolescents.

Keywords: adolescent behavior; clusters of risk behaviors; dieting

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Cleveland State University, Cleveland OH. 2: Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC. 3: Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC.

Publication date: January 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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