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Diet Pill, Laxative Use in Women Tied to Later Eating Disorder Dx

Odds of incident eating disorder diagnosis up with use of diet pill, laxative for weight control

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Diet pill and laxative use for weight control are associated with increased odds of subsequent first eating disorder diagnosis, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Jordan A. Levinson, from Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues used longitudinal data from 10,058 U.S. women from 2001 through 2016. The correlation between weight-control behaviors and subsequent eating disorder diagnosis was estimated using models adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and overweight status.

The researchers found that among women who had not previously received an eating disorder diagnosis, compared with those who did not report using these products, those who reported diet pill or laxative use for weight control had increased odds of receiving a subsequent first eating disorder diagnosis within one to three years (adjusted odds ratios, 5.6 and 6.0 for diet pill and laxative use, respectively).

“Given the myriad health risks of these products well documented in the literature, combined with our evidence that their use may be prospectively associated with eating disorder diagnosis, public health professionals, policymakers, and community advocates should pursue remedies to reduce access to and use of these products,” the authors write.

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