Scales weigh heavily on teenage minds

Sydney Morning Herald 8 Dec 06
DOCTORS have been warned not to urge teenage girls to weigh themselves, after a study revealed adolescents who regularly stepped on the scales were more likely to binge-eat and gain weight. The five-year study of 2000 teenagers found weight gain among those who regularly checked their weight was nearly twice as high as those who avoided the scales. Weighing was also linked to increases in other harmful tactics, such as binge-eating, smoking, vomiting, taking diet pills, using laxatives and skipping meals.The findings of the research from the University of Minnesota, published in this month’s edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health, mirrored research by Australian health experts. The director of Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital’s Centre for Adolescent Health, Susan Sawyer, said encouraging teens to focus on their weight was a bad idea.