Binge-Eating Teens Have Increased Risk for Drug Use

Edited by Living Sober

Last updated December 14, 2012

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospitals have uncovered a link between binge-eating teens as well as overeaters and an increased risk of drug use, as reported in an article on  Binge eating is classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM) IV as “eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g. within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time…and a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode. “

The study was conducted between 1996 and 2005 and periodically surveyed 16,882 males and females between the ages of nine and 15. The study participants filled out surveys every 12 to 24 months about their eating habits. The objective for Kendrin R. Sonneville, Sc.D., R.D., of Children’s Hospital in Boston and his team was to analyze the link between overeating/binge eating and  negative consequences like binge drinking and marijuana use.

The results indicated that girls engaged more often than boys in binge eating by a large margin (2.3% to 31% for girls aged 16 to 24 and 0.3% to 1% of males aged 16 to 24).  The researchers also found a link between depression, binge eating and overweight/obesity.

The experts’ conclusion:

“Given that binge eating is uniquely predictive of some adverse outcomes and because previous work has found that binge eating is amenable to intervention, clinicians should be encouraged to screen adolescents for binge eating.”

Northbound Treatment Services specializes in dual diagnosis disorders (individuals with substance abuse problems and mental health problems, such as depression).  Northbound’s highly trained staff is trained to deal with individuals suffering from binge eating and substance abuse at its rehab treatment centers. For more information about our full line of treatment options, visit our website.

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