BOSTON (CBS Connecticut) — A new study finds that teenagers who binge eat are far more likely to use or abuse drugs, including marijuana.
The study, conducted by pediatric medicine experts in Boston, also found that binge-eating could lead to depression.
In fact, researchers found that adolescents succumbed to binge-eating or overeating were twice as likely to use marijuana than those without eating disorders, the Arizona Daily Star learned.
Risky eaters were also reportedly almost two times more likely to experiment with other drugs.
Lead author Kendrin Sonneville told the Daily Star that binge eaters are especially prone to impulsive behavior.
“We don’t need to only worry about the eating habits of overweight and obese youth,” Sonneville, who also teaches at Harvard Medical School and directs nutritional training at Boston Children’s Hospital, noted.
He added, “Overeating and binge eating can be problematic for all youth. We should be cognizant of the eating habits of all youth separate from their weight.”
For the study, researchers asked 16,882 boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 15 to fill out a questionnaire every 12 to 24 months from 1996 to 2005.
From the results they received, they were also able to determine that girls were more likely to binge eat, while boys were prone to overeating.
Obesity also plagued many of the binge eaters involved in the study, the Daily Star learned.
The study was published earlier this week in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.