Participation in weight-related sports is associated with higher use of unhealthful weight-control behaviors and steroid use

J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Mar;107(3):434-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2006.12.010.

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, chi2 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adolescent Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Cathartics / administration & dosage*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Diuretics / administration & dosage
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Minnesota
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Sports*
  • Steroids / administration & dosage*
  • Vomiting / epidemiology*

Substances

  • Cathartics
  • Diuretics
  • Steroids