Not My Teen: Trends to Know – Youth Who Overeat More Likely to Abuse Drugs

By Stop Medicine Abuse Posted December 18, 2012 under Not My Teen

Reports about alarming teen behaviors and potential risks are often in the news, and keeping up to date can be a challenge for concerned parents.  To help keep you informed, the Five Moms will be sharing key studies and news each month as a part of the new series: Not My Teen.  Stay up-to-date by checking out the full series.

A new study based on surveys of close to 17,000 youth may help parents identify a troubling warning sign of drug abuse.  The new study, which was published in the Archives on Pediatric and Adolescent Journal this month, shows that kids and teens who reported overeating, including binge eating, were more likely to start using marijuana and other drugs. While this type of study does not prove that one behavior causes another, it shows that one can be a warning sign of increased risk for the other. According to Kendrin Sonneville, the study's lead author from Boston Children's Hospital, “Physicians and parents should be aware that both overeating and binge eating are quite common in adolescents, and these problems put them at risk for other problems, such as drug use.” It is important to know, Sommerville said, that extra weight isn't the only sign of worrisome eating.  “It may be easy to overlook eating problems in normal-weight or healthy-weight kids,” she said. “We need to think about eating habits even before they maybe affect a kid's weight, but realize these may be a risk factor for other problems down the road.”

Learn more about the study and its findings.