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Unhealthy Weight Management Practices and Non-medical Use of Prescription Drugs

  • Heather B. Clayton
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Heather B. Clayton, PhD, MPH, Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop E-75, Atlanta GA 30329
    Affiliations
    Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Zewditu Demissie
    Affiliations
    Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

    U.S Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Richard Lowry
    Affiliations
    Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Elizabeth A. Lundeen
    Affiliations
    Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

    Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Andrea J. Sharma
    Affiliations
    U.S Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Rockville, Maryland

    Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Michele K. Bohm
    Affiliations
    Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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Published:November 14, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2016.09.015

      Introduction

      Non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. With approximately one in five high school students engaging in NMUPD, it is important to understand behavioral correlates.

      Methods

      Data were combined from the 2011 and 2013 cycles of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey. After restricting the analytic sample to students who reported a weight loss goal of either staying the same weight or losing weight, logistic regression models were used to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios and 95% CIs for associations between unhealthy weight management practices (UWMPs) and lifetime NMUPD. Individual UWMPs—fasting; taking diet pills, powders, or liquids without a doctor’s advice; and vomiting or taking laxatives—and total number of UWMPs were examined. Data were analyzed in 2016.

      Results

      UWMPs were more prevalent among female students (21.1% vs 10.7% for fasting; 7.5% vs 5.2% for taking diet pills, powders, or liquids; and 7.6% vs 3.2% for vomiting or taking laxatives). Significant associations between individual UWMPs and NMUPD and between the number of UWMPs and NMUPD were observed.

      Discussion

      UWMPs were associated with NMUPD. Health educators in the school setting, as well as other health professionals who provide services to an adolescent population, can focus on healthy weight management strategies, and other substance-specific messages.

      Conclusions

      The association between UWMPs and NMUPD may reflect a constellation of problem behaviors exhibited among some adolescents.
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