Overweight and Obesity
Being overweight during childhood and adolescence has been associated with increased adult mortality (61,62). Furthermore, obese children and adolescents are often excluded from peer groups and discriminated against by adults, experience psychological stress, and have a poor body image and low self-esteem (63,64). Increased physical activity and appropriate caloric intake are recommended for preventing and reducing obesity .
Unsafe Weight-Loss Methods
Deliberately restricting food intake over long periods can lead to poor growth and delayed sexual development . Data from one study indicated that the rate of smoking initiation is higher for adolescent girls who diet or who are concerned about their weight than for nondieters or girls having few weight concerns.
Eating disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa) are psychological disorders characterized by severe disturbances in eating behavior. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight, and bulimia nervosa is characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting .