Your Teen Tans Intensely Indoors? Watch for Weight Issues, Too

I suppose it's not much of a surprise but a new study has found that teens who tan out of control may also have weight disorders, too.

According to, high school students who use indoor tanning also have higher rates of unhealthy weight control behaviors—such as taking diet pills or vomiting to lose weight.

And the association between indoor tanning and unhealthy weight control methods may be even stronger for male than female adolescents.

With adjustment for other factors, females who used indoor tanning were 20 percent more likely to report fasting, 40 percent more likely to report vomiting or taking laxatives, and more than twice as likely to report taking weight-loss pills, powders, or liquids.

Males who used indoor tanning were more than twice as likely to fast, four times more likely to use pills, powders, or liquids, and seven times more likely to report vomiting or laxative use.

Additionally, females who used indoor tanning were more likely to perceive themselves as normal weight, yet more likely to say they were trying to lose weight.

So what does this all mean?  That just about no one is happy with the way they look, and some of us take it to very unhealthy extremes.  I'm way beyond that kind of behavior now (though I have a friend only a couple of years younger than I who tans every day,even in the summer), but I have to confess, I look better with a tan and swimming outdoors every day in the summer for a half-hour gives me that nice warm glow.  

Yes, I know it causes skin cancer, and I've had suspicious marks looked at. I may be splitting hairs but indoor tanning, to me, seems the height of vanity, when we know so much about the dangers of too much sun or light.  I guess we're never going to stop tanning but maybe we could tone it down, just a little.  Or wear sunscreen in the tanning booth?  I guess that would defeat the whole point.   


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