Is There a Link Between Vaping and Eating Disorders in the Young?

“The findings of the study are particularly relevant as we see a surge in claims for eating disorders and substance use disorders during the pandemic,” said study author Dr. Jason Nagata. He is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. According to the researchers, data analysis of more than 51,000 US college students found that those with a lifetime diagnosis of an eating disorder (such as anorexia or bulimia) were more likely to use e-cigarettes. However, the study was unable to prove a causal relationship.

Study author Kyle Ganson, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, says we are concerned that people with eating disorder symptoms are more likely to smoke vapes because together they can lead to other health complications, including heart and lung problems. Like neurological problems.

According to Gaston, nicotine may be a common link between an eating disorder and vaping.

“Nicotine vapes can be used by people to support behaviors and goals associated with eating disorders, such as appetite suppression and weight loss,” Ganson said in a University of Toronto press release. But he warned that “smoking nicotine can lead to addiction and future use of multiple psychoactive substances.”

Nagata added that “young people who are struggling with their diet or substance use should seek help from a healthcare professional. Clinicians should screen young people for eating disorders and substance use, especially during a pandemic.”

The findings were published online on September 11 in the journal eating behavior.

More information

To learn more about eating disorders, visit the US National Institute of Mental Health.

SOURCE: University of Toronto press release, September 13, 2021

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