Research reveals how food insecurity, alcohol consumption, food addiction and other factors influence dietary patterns and health in teens and college students
Rockville, Maryland (June 14, 2022) — The developmental changes and growing independence that characterize adolescence and young adulthood can make these stages of life both exciting and challenging. New studies presented at NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE shed light on the eating behaviors and diets of teens and young adults around the world.
Food insecure teens may be more likely to attempt weight loss
In a new study, researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health found a link between food insecurity and weight loss attempts during early adolescence. The researchers analyzed data from almost 7,000 children in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten class of 1998-99. The study assessed food insecurity in kindergarten and third, fifth and eighth grades, revealing that 4% of the study participants had experienced food insecurity at three or more assessed timepoints. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, the researchers found that the children who experienced food insecurity at three or four timepoints were more likely to have attempted to lose weight compared to food secure children. Recently becoming food insecure was also associated with higher prevalence of weight loss attempts.
College students who drink may compensate with unhealthy eating behaviors
New Mexico State University researchers surveyed 120 college students during the 2020-2021 school year to assess whether alcohol consumption was associated with eating behaviors used to avoid weight gain or deliberate attempts to control eating. They found that drinking alcohol was associated with skipping meals to make up for calories consumed from alcohol, eating less to get more drunk and exercising more to make up for calories from alcohol. There was also an association between drinking alcohol and consuming low-calorie or fat-free foods, taking laxatives, or self-induced vomiting to compensate for calories consumed while drinking alcohol. These new findings could help inform policies and program related to alcohol consumption on campus.
New insights into food addiction in young adults
People with food addiction compulsively overeat and have frequent episodes of binge eating. An observational study from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development examined whether food addiction was associated with weight perception and certain eating behaviors in more than 2,000 young adult participants in the NEXT Generation Health Study. The analysis revealed that study participants with food addiction were more likely to perceive themselves as overweight, have attempted weight loss, or report a maladaptive eating behavior such as such as self-induced vomiting, laxative use and use of diet pills. Based on these findings, the researchers say that it may be important to consider food addiction when treating and managing young adults with multiple problematic eating behaviors.
Metabolome changes could link sugar-sweetened beverages, higher triglycerides
Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus report an association between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and higher triglyceride (lipid) levels in youth. The new findings come from an analysis of data from almost 600 children assessed at ages 10 and 16 as part of the multi-ethnic EPOCH Study based in Colorado. The researchers found that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages during childhood was associated with higher triglycerides across childhood and adolescence, which may reflect sugar-induced disruptions in lipid metabolism. They also identified a panel of intermediary lipid metabolites, assessed using untargeted metabolomics, which may link the sugar sweetened beverage consumption to higher triglycerides and offer insights into potential mechanisms at work in this association.
Study examines elevated blood pressure among 10-to-12-year-oldsin Kenya
A George Mason University study examined elevated blood pressure in primary school children between 10 and 12 years old in Nairobi and Kisumu, Kenya. The researchers selected three public schools that catered to children from households of low, medium and high socio-economic status to participate in the study in each city. They found that more than 20% of the children had pre-hypertension and 14% had hypertension, meaning that more than a third of the children exhibited elevated blood pressure. Overweight and obese children were significantly more likely to have high blood pressure and hypertension compared to children whose body mass index was in the healthy range. Children who consumed high amounts of fries or potato chips were also significantly more likely to have elevated blood pressure compared to children who consumed lower amounts.
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Please note that abstracts presented at NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE were evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer review process required for publication in a scientific journal. As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.
About NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE
NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE is part of a new year-around experience featuring ASN’s flagship annual meeting held virtually June 14-16, 2022, plus learning and networking opportunities that will be offered throughout the year. The online annual meeting is a dynamic virtual event showcasing new research findings and timely discussions on food and nutrition. Scientific symposia explore hot topics including clinical and translational nutrition, food science and systems, global and public health, population science and cellular and physiological nutrition and metabolism. https://nutrition.org/n23/ #NutritionLiveOnline
About the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)
ASN is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. Founded in 1928, the society brings together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. ASN publishes four peer-reviewed journals and provides education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice and education. https://nutrition.org//
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