Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Denoth F., Siciliano V., Iozzo P., Fortunato L., Molinaro S. The association between overweight and illegal drug consumption in adolescents is there an underlying influence of the sociocultural environment?. In: PLoS One, vol. 6 (11) p. e27358. Public Library of Science, 2011.
Background: The aims of the study were to: a) Examine the distribution of gender-stratified body mass index (BMI), eating attitudes and use of addictive substances, under the hypothesis of a confluent prevalence of weight abnormalities, eating disorders and substance abuse. b) Demonstrate the extent to which family, peer-related and psychosocial factors are common elements in categories of compulsive behaviour. Methodology/Principal Findings: In the present cross-sectional study, data were collected through self reported questionnaires administered to a large sample of 33,185 15-19 years old adolescents (ESPADHItalia), divided into weight categories based on the BMI percentile distribution. Multinomial analyses were adopted to address the influence of social, family, leisure time factors, Eating Attitude Test (EAT26) on the association between weight categories and drug use. Recent drugs use was more frequent in overweight and underweight adolescents (p,0.05), especially in females. An EAT26 score $20 was more common in overweight adolescents. Multinomial analysis abolished the relationship between overweight and the use of most drugs, implicating self-esteem, parents' educational level, and friendships as mediators of the association. Within the overweight category, adolescents reporting recent drug use, showed greater frequency of having drug-abusing friends (,80%), and severe problems with parents and school (,30%) compared to overweight adolescents without recent drug use. Conclusion: The frequent association of overweight and substance use and the presence of common underlying social factors, highlights the need for an interdisciplinary approach involving individual-focused treatment models as well as public health, social and environmental changes to reduce food- and substances-related problems.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027358
Subject Adolescents
Eating disorders
Substance abuse

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