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    Body-related discrimination and dieting and substance use behaviors in adolescence

    Sutin, Angelina R. and Stephan, Yannick and Robinson, Eric and Daly, Michael and Terracciano, Antonio (2020) Body-related discrimination and dieting and substance use behaviors in adolescence. Appetite, 151 (104689). ISSN 0195-6663

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    Unfair treatment on the basis of a physical characteristic, such as body weight, is associated with unhealthy dieting behaviors in adolescence and adulthood and has also been implicated in substance use. Peer victimization is likewise associated with these health-risk behaviors. It is unclear, however, whether body discrimination is associated with these behaviors independent of peer victimization. The present research uses data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to test the relation between body discrimination and dieting and substance use behaviors in adolescence and test whether the associations are independent of peer victimization, as well as depressive symptoms which are associated with both forms of victimization and health-risk behaviors. Participants (N = 2955) reported on body discrimination, dieting behaviors, and substance use at ages 14–15. Participants who experienced body discrimination were more likely to report fear of gaining weight, losing control over eating, going without eating, using medicine or vomiting to control their weight, engaging in restrained eating, and exercising to control their weight. They also had tried nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana. The associations with eating and alcohol use were independent of peer victimization, whereas the associations with smoking and marijuana were reduced when peer victimization was included in the model. All associations were also independent of depressive symptoms. Overall, the findings suggest that body discrimination is associated with harmful health behaviors at least as early as age 14.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Angelina R. Sutin, Yannick Stephan, Eric Robinson, Michael Daly, Antonio Terracciano, Body-related discrimination and dieting and substance use behaviors in adolescence, Appetite, Volume 151, 2020, 104689, ISSN 0195-6663, (
    Keywords: Weight stigma; Body discrimination; Peer victimization; Dieting behavior; Substance use;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 15240
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Michael Daly
    Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2022 17:28
    Journal or Publication Title: Appetite
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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