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Binge-eating adolescents are more likely to use marijuana, other drugs says study

A study says that binge-eating adolescents are more likely to use marijuana and other drugs and become depressed. This study states that doctors of the...

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|Dec 11|magazine4 min read

A study says that binge-eating adolescents are more likely to use marijuana and other drugs and become depressed. This study states that doctors of their teen patients must be aware of the children’s eating habits to help in averting these issues.

The teens and young adults who reported being binge eaters or overeaters were almost twice as likely to start using marijuana. The researchers said, the binge eaters and overeaters were 1.59 to 1.89 times more likely to use other drugs.  

The study's lead author and director of nutrition training in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s  Hospital Kendrin Sonneville said, “People who binge eat can be more impulsive, a trait that may lead them to drug use.”  Ms. Sonneville also said, “We don’t need to only worry about the eating habits of overweight and obese youth.”  She also states, “Overeating and binge eating can be problematic for all youth. We should be cognizant of the eating habits of all youth separate from their weight.”

The study focused on 16,882 boys and girls in the ages of 9 to 15 in 1996. They were given questionnaires every 12 to 24 months from 1996 to 2005 to assess their eating. 

The girls were more likely to engage in binge eating and were more likely to be overweight or obese and have symptoms of depression, while overeating did not have the same association.

Thus, neither form of eating was related to starting binge drinking. Binge drinking is the most common of all types of teens so any relation may disappear as many teens are engaging in the behavior.