Study of teens with eating disorders compares substance users and non-users


Adolescence can be a minefield for those going through it. Along with natural bodily changes, teens also have to grapple with social pressures emphasizing thinness and other arbitrary standards of desirability.

This period is especially risky for teens who are born with certain genetic vulnerabilities. When combined with poor coping mechanisms and low self-esteem, they can lead to the development of serious eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Given these risk factors, teens with eating disorders may also be more likely to use substances like alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, such as cannabis and methamphetamines.

In a new paper published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers study the link between disordered eating and

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