Alcohol use in teenage girls: Obsession with self image one of the reasons

A new study says self image in the teenage years is a major reason why teenagers take to alcohol.

health and fitness Updated: Dec 15, 2016 11:27 IST
New York
Alcohol use,Teenage girls,Self image
Teenage years are particularly worrisome as girls and boys are constantly thinking about losing weight or gaining some.(Shutterstock)

High school girls who harbour negative self-image -- those who try to lose, maintain or gain weight when there is no medical need to do so -- are more likely to try alcohol and drink heavily, says a study.

“Negative self-image can lead to negative behaviours. Body image and behavioural misperception occurs when actions are taken based on a perceived weight status or body image,” said senior study author Margie Skeer, Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, in Massachusetts, US.

“We found significant relationships between this misperception and reporting ever having had alcohol, as well as reporting episodic heavy drinking among high school girls,” Skeer said.

In the study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, the researchers sought to identify whether having a body image behavioural misperception (BIBM) is associated with an increased odds of ever having had alcohol, current alcohol use or episodic heavy drinking (five or more alcoholic beverages within a couple hours).

Alcohol use is rampant among teenage who are obsessed with how they look. (Shutterstock)

The researchers analyzed data from the 2013 National Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance System, a national, school-based survey conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study analysed responses from 6,579 female students between ages 14 to 18 and above.

Among high school girls with a body image behavioural misperception, the odds of ever having had alcohol was 1.21 times greater than among girls who did not have such a misperception, the findings showed.

First Published: Dec 15, 2016 11:23 IST