Suicide is a leading cause of death among adolescents globally, with body weight one recognized reason for adolescent suicide. Therefore, we investigated the association between weight control behaviors (WCB) and suicide ideation and attempt, focusing on inappropriate weight control measures. We used data from the 2014 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey, representing a total of 35,224 boys and 34,361 girls aged 12 to 18 years. Adolescents were classified into groups based on WCB: Appropriate WCB, inappropriate WCB, and no WCB. We performed logistic regression models to examine associations between WCB and suicide ideation and attempt, controlling for covariates. Both boys and girls with inappropriate WCB were more likely to report suicide ideation and attempt. Underweight and normal weight boys with inappropriate WCB were more likely to think or attempt suicide, and underweight girls with inappropriate WCB were also more likely to attempt suicide. Among five common WCB combinations, the combination of "regular exercise, fasting, eating less" was highly associated with suicide ideation and attempt. We confirmed that inappropriate WCB are associated with suicide ideation and attempt among Korean adolescents. Given the high incidence rate of suicide among adolescents and the adverse effect of inappropriate WCB, encouraging adolescents to control their weight in healthy ways is imperative.
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© 2016 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.
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