Every one in 10 girls once consumed weight loss pill: study

Study finds out that girls are more likely to take dietary pills and usage was most common in North America

Image of a person standing on a weighing scale. — Unsplash/File

A recent study found out that every one in 10 girls has consumed dietary pills for weight loss at least once in their lifetime, Good Morning America reported.

The study was carried out by the School of Public and Preventive Health at Monash University in Melbourne and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The researchers conducted over 90 studies involving over 600,000 participants aged 18 or under from all over the world. The participants were mostly from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe the Caribbean, and Asia. 

The study found out that girls are more likely to take dietary pills and the usage was most common in North America, followed by Asia and Europe.

“Childhood use of non-prescribed weight-loss products has been associated with low self-esteem, depression, poor nutritional intake, and substance use,” as stated in the journal.

According to the study, diet pills were the weight-loss product most often used by adolescents, followed by laxatives and diuretics.

Prior research has shown that the use of diet pills is highly correlated with developing eating disorders. 

According to a study by the American Public Health Association, usage of diet pills and laxatives is associated with a higher risk of an eating disorder within one to three years compared to non-users in the US.

A study conducted last year by the JAMA network on eating disorders estimated that 22% of children and adolescents showed disordered eating. The study involved 63,000 participants from 16 countries.

Director of external affairs at the eating disorder charity Beat, Tom Quinn, said: “There should be stricter laws to ensure weight loss products are never sold to people with or vulnerable to an eating disorder.”

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