Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Overweight teens want to lose weight, going about it the wrong way

Date:
November 2, 2011
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
While a majority of teens report wanting to lose weight, many engage in behavior that's counterproductive to that goal, according to new research.

About 14 percent of Philadelphia's high school students are considered overweight, and while a myriad of research has been published on what schools, communities and parents can do to help curb these rates, very little information exists on what the teens themselves are doing to lose weight.

Research led by public health doctoral candidate Clare Lenhart has found that while most obese teens in Philadelphia report wanting to lose weight, their actions are more of a hindrance than a help.

In an analysis of findings from the Philadelphia Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, Lenhart and colleagues organized data from nearly 44,000 adolescents into different types of health behaviors, such as: recent smoking; amount of weekly physical activity; daily soda consumption; and hours per day playing video games.

While most of the obese teens reported trying to lose weight (about 75 percent), this group was also more likely to report smoking. In addition, females trying to lose weight were more likely to report participating in 60 minutes or more of physical activity per day; however, data showed that these females were also prone to consume soda on a daily basis -- regular, not diet. Males who were trying to lose weight were more likely to report having no days of physical activity, and also reported playing more than three hours of video games per day.

"From a health education standpoint, finding out that three-quarters of students who are obese want to lose weight is exactly what we want," said Lenhart. "But the behavior they're engaging in is puzzling; it's counterproductive to what they're trying to do."

While the researchers aren't sure whether teens realize this behavior is counterproductive, Lenhart suggests there could be a lack of information on the teens' part. "For example, among the girls who are exercising, they may not realize that one soda could undo that 30-minute walk they just took."

She's encouraged that so many teens appear to be motivated to lose weight, and says that a more intensive line of questioning from health care providers could help.

"If a child is going to their pediatrician, and he asks them if they're losing weight, an appropriate follow up question might be, 'How are you doing that?'" said Lenhart. "It could help guide those teens to more productive weight loss activities."

The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. Other study authors are Dawn Eichen of Temple's Department of Psychology, Judith Gold of Temple's Department of Public Health and Brian Daly of Drexel University's Department of Psychology. Funding was provided by a Center for Disease Control ARREST grant to the School District of Philadelphia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Temple University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "Overweight teens want to lose weight, going about it the wrong way." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101095310.htm>.
Temple University. (2011, November 2). Overweight teens want to lose weight, going about it the wrong way. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101095310.htm
Temple University. "Overweight teens want to lose weight, going about it the wrong way." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101095310.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins