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Dieting at young age, a health risk

A new study has found that dieting by women at a young age can ruin their health.

The study is done by a team led by Dr Pamela Keel from Florida State University. For the study, the researchers asked college women in 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012 to report their dieting and weight history.

The women were then followed by the team after a decade and the researchers then examined the impact of dieting history on the health outcomes of the participants.

The study showed that the younger a woman was when she started dieting, the more likely the woman was to use extreme weight control behaviours like self-induced vomiting, misuse alcohol. These women were also more at risk of getting overweight or obese after turning 30s.

The research, however, did not determine the cause of these outcomes but it said that discouraging weight loss diets in young girls may reduce risk for eating, alcohol, and weight-related problems in adulthood.

"Public health initiatives should promote behaviours that increase wellness in girls, such as increasing activity, decreasing leisure time watching TV and on computers, and consuming more fruits and vegetables," researchers said.

"Such interventions may need to begin as early as elementary school to support girls as they enter puberty, a time when their bodies will naturally experience rapid growth, weight gain, and an increase in body fat," they added.