Toxic Teen Diets

More and more teenage girls are resorting to unhealthy weight-control choices—diet pills in particular—say University of Minnesota researchers. Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) scientists followed more than 2,500 Minnesota adolescents for five years, tracking changes in dieting behavior.

As girls moved from junior high school to high school, there were significant increases in fasting, skipping meals, and smoking to control weight. Diet-pill use doubled during the high school years, and by age 19 or 20, one in five female subjects reported using diet pills. Nearly a quarter of the older females said they resorted to extreme measures (use of laxatives, diuretics or induced vomiting, as well as diet pills). Boys studied were half as likely to engage in such unhealthy behavior to control weight.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 22 Aug 2010

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015