Evid Based Nurs 3:88 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.3.88
  • Causation

Naturalistic weight reduction efforts predicted weight gain and onset of obesity in adolescent girls

 QUESTION: Are naturalistic dieting (weight control in the natural environment without formal treatment), exercise, radical weight loss efforts, and binge eating associated with growth in relative weight and onset of obesity in adolescent girls?


Prospective cohort study with 4 years of follow up.


3 high schools in northern California, USA.


692 girls (mean age 15 y, 45% white) who were grade 9 students. Girls who were pregnant were excluded.

Assessment of risk factors

Dietary restraint, self labelled dieting, exercise for weight loss, incidental exercise (exercise for purposes other than intentional weight control) that might affect adiposity, fasting for weight loss, use of appetite suppressants or laxatives, vomiting for weight control, binge eating, and stage of pubertal development (Tanner stage) were assessed by student self report or structured clinical interviews. Body mass index (BMI) was measured by trained research staff.

Main outcome measures

Growth in relative weight …

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