18 Jul Eating Habits Strongly Correlated with First Marijuana Use
An unhealthy relationship with food has implications that go beyond the development of an eating disorder. Those who binge or overeat as a teen or young adult are at a higher risk of using marijuana or other illegal drugs compared with peers that have normal eating habits.
A new study featured in a recent MedScape report shows that eating habits alone did not lead to marijuana use. In fact, when the individual did binge eat but did not overeat, the onset of obesity and worsening depression symptoms were predicted.
This finding suggests that a simple loss of control is the critical indicator of severity in terms of overeating episodes. Of the 16,882 people studied in this process between the ages of 9 and 15, eating habits were assessed via questionnaire every 12 to 24 months. The study took place from 1996 to 2005.
When the first assessment was completed, 22.3 percent of participants were found to be obese or at least overweight. Another 4.3 percent reported frequent binge drinking, 12.2 percent reported using marijuana and 9.1 percent reported using a drug other than marijuana. Binge eating appeared to be more common among girls as compared with boys.
While binge eating showed to have an impact on obesity and the onset of depression, the initiation of binge drinking didn’t appear to be related to overeating or binge eating. By contrast, the use of marijuana was linked with both binge eating and overeating. Both eating habits were also strongly associated with beginning use of other drugs.
The identified correlation between these conditions is a loss of control, or LOC, as a teen’s inability to control impulses could lead to dangerous activities and the use of illegal substances.
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