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Acquiring too much knowledge without knowing how to use it may lead to unhealthy behaviours. When it concerns dieting and weight loss, to much information usually leads to risky dieting habits.

Teenage girls who read too many of such articles are in the biggest danger of practicing vomiting and laxative abuse and other extreme weight loss measures.

Health experts report that parents may have an important role in preventing such behaviours by explaining their children that they shouldn’t be reading articles that promote thinness and warn them about the possible dangers of undertaking extreme weight loss measures.

The researchers followed a large group of teenagers for five years and included data about their dieting, body image and self-esteem.
The study revealed that the girls who often read magazine articles on dieting and weight loss were most likely to report engaging in unhealthy or extreme dieting practices compared with those who did not read at all. The unhealthy behaviours included fasting, skipping meals, and smoking as well as the extreme such as vomiting and using laxatives were two and three times more common in those teens who read the magazines.

Boys were found not to be under the influence of the magazine articles.

Health experts advise that the things we learn from the media should not be taken for granted and that practicing something without knowing the consequences carries a certain risk.

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Hello simone,

I sympathize with you in terms of teen age dieting practices.  They're at a very impressionable age with a lot of peer pressure and invariable they do the wrong thing.  Their prefrontal lobes in the brain are not mature yet so they tend to have very bad judgment.  Often you will see symptoms of bulimia and anorexia.  This is so dangerous.  If you have a teen age daughter, talk with her and get her to understand about fads and peer pressure and what's is reasonable.  And, you need to keep an eye on them.  Try to eat as many meals as you can with your teen ager so that you at least have some idea of what they are eating.  At school and the mall is another matter.  No doubt it will be difficult, but give it a try.

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