Adolescents who think that they are overweight are at increased risk of suicide attempts

May 19, 2009

Multiple social factors, including discrimination and harassment, may contribute to an increased risk of suicidal feelings among adolescents who feel that they are overweight, a Georgia State University researcher says.

Monica Swahn, associate professor in the institute of public health, and her students found that adolescents who perceive that they overweight -- even though they are not, according to their -- are at increased risk for suicide attempt, according to a recently published study in the .

"We were surprised to find that any combination of perception of being overweight, or actually being overweight, increased the risk of suicidality," Swahn said.

Swahn and students in her social determinants of health class analyzed data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Study from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention. Further studies are needed to look at multiple factors related to suicidal feelings, but social structures including discrimination, harassment, income, housing, food and nutrition, and media messages likely play a role in the increased risk for suicide attempts among youth who feel that they are overweight.

"There is an ideal about what a body should look like, which we're all inundated with constantly," Swahn said. "And children and youth are very vulnerable to these messages as they transition into ."

Provided by Georgia State University (news : web)

Explore further: Impact of childhood bullying still evident after 40 years

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New research links teen alcohol use with suicide

Feb 04, 2008

Pre-teens who drink alcohol are substantially more likely to be involved in violent behavior as adolescents and young adults, according to new research from Georgia State University's Institute of Public Health.

Obesity rates continue to climb in the United States

Jul 10, 2007

The U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between the 1960s and 2004, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Human Nutrition.

Being overweight just as risky to health as being a smoker

Feb 25, 2009

Obese adolescents have the same risk of premature death in adulthood as people who smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day, while those who are overweight have the same risk as less heavy smokers, according to research published ...

Eating disorders in adolescents

Nov 19, 2007

Eating disorders in the U.S. among ethnic groups were thought to be rare, but recent studies have shown that many cultures are now exposed to the thin beauty ideal. As a result, experts expect to see an increase in eating ...

Recommended for you

Our brains are hardwired for language

9 hours ago

A groundbreaking study published in PLOS ONE by Prof. Iris Berent of Northeastern University and researchers at Harvard Medical School shows the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language univer ...

Child burn effects far reaching for parents

14 hours ago

Parents of burn victims experience significant psychological distress for at least three months after the incident and may compromise the post-operative recovery of their child, WA research has found.

Internet use may cut retirees' depression

14 hours ago

Spending time online has the potential to ward off depression among retirees, particularly among those who live alone, according to research published online in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences an ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...