Trying to Lose Weight and Alcohol Misuse Among High School Girls: Findings From the U.S. National 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.Subst Use Misuse 2015; 50(12):1599-605SU
Trying to lose weight has been associated with alcohol use among college-aged females. Excessive drinking along with purging as a method for weight control has been documented in this population. However, little is known about the relationship between alcohol use and trying to lose weight among high school girls.
To examine the relationship between trying to lose weight and past 30-day (1) alcohol use and (2) binge drinking (separately).
Using data from the National 2011 YRBS, we examined these relationships among 5,106 girls aged 14-18+ who reported ever using alcohol. Survey-weighted iterative logistic regression models were conducted.
44.0% of girls reported current alcohol use with 27.8% reporting binge drinking. While a significant relationship was not found between trying to lose weight and current alcohol use in the final multivariable model, a significant relationship was found between trying to lose weight and binge drinking (AOR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.02-1.52). Additional variables that were found to be associated with an increased odds of binge drinking included: being in 11th and 12th grades compared to being in 9th grade, screening positively for depression, and current cigarette use. Variables associated with a decreased odds included: talking to an adult/teacher about a problem, and identifying as Black/African American compared to White.
Understanding the relationship between trying to lose weight and binge drinking among high school students is important, as these behaviors may be a precursor to risk behaviors later in life and need to be more fully examined.