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Table 1 Studies examining weight loss intention and strategies in youth observational studies (N = 19)

From: Do sex differences in reported weight loss intentions and behaviours persist across demographic characteristics and weight status in youth? A systematic review

Study N Sample Gender (% female) % OW/OBa Ethnicity Location Study type Healthy strategies Unhealthy strategies Extreme strategies
Calderon et al. (2004) [18] 146 10th grade 64 27 (Mb) 8% Caucasian
27% Asian-American
4% African-American
48% Hispanic
0% Native-American
12% Other
California CSc Eating smaller portions Skipping meals, fad or crash diet Diet aids
Childress et al. (1993) [24] 3129 5th to 8th grade 51 N/A 64% Caucasian
21% African-American
7% Other
8% N/A
South Carolina CS Exercise Fasting Vomiting, diuretics, diet pills, laxatives
Davis & Lambert (2000) [25] 1994 5th grade 51 34 (M) 100% Native-American New Mexico CS Exercise, “eating a little less” Strict diet N/A
French et al. (1995) [46] 852 7th to 10th grade 100 N/A 89% Caucasian
4% Mixed Race
3%Asian-American
< 1%Native-American
< 1%African-American
< 1% Hispanic
Minnesota Ld Low-calorie diet N/A Vomiting, diet pills, laxatives, enemas
Kilpatrick et al. (1999) [19] 6504 7th to 12th grade 53 22 (M)
31 (Pe)
62% Caucasian
23% African-American
9% Hispanic
3% Asian-American
3% Native-American
USA CS Exercise N/A Vomiting, diet pills, laxatives
Koff & Rierdan (1991) [45] 206 6th grade 100 21 (P) 100% Caucasian Massachusetts CS Exercise, avoid fattening foods Skipping meals, fasting N/A
Krowchuk et al. (1998) [23] 2331 6th to 8th grade 49 24 (P) 64% Caucasian
28% African-American
2% Hispanic
1% Asian-American
2% Native-American
3% Other
North Carolina CS Exercise N/A Vomiting or using laxatives, diet pills
McVey et al. (2005) [20] 1458 6th to 8th grade 54 19 (M)
28 (P)
38% Caucasian
26% South Asian
17% Asian-American
13% African-Canadian 14% Other
Ontario, CA CS Exercise Skipping meals Vomiting, diet pills, laxatives or diuretics
Page et al. (1993) [49] 1915 10th to 12th grade 51 N/A 73% Caucasian
25% African-American
2% Other
Mississippi CS Exercise Fasting, very restrictive diet, crash diet Vomiting, diet pills, water pills, laxatives
Phelps et al. (1993) [40] 367f 7th to 8th grade and 9th to 12th grade 100 N/A N/A New York CS N/A N/A Vomiting, diet pills, laxatives
Rafiroiu et al. (2000) [43] 1439 3rd to 5th grade 52 N/A 55% Caucasian South Carolina CS N/A N/A Vomiting, diet pills
Serdula et al. (1993) [39] 11,467 9th to 12th grade 51 25 (P) 55% Caucasian
20% African-American
20% Hispanic
6% Other
USA CS Exercise Skipping meals Vomiting, diet pills
Shisslak et al. (1998) [48] 523 Elementary and middle school children 100 N/A 48% Caucasian
26% Hispanic
17% Asian-American
5% African-American
2% Native-American
2% Other
California, Arizona CS Exercise, eat less fat/sweets Skipping meals, fasting Vomiting, diet pills, laxatives
Shisslak et al. (2006) [44] 1164 6th to 9th grade 100 19% overweight, 19% at risk overweight (M) 43% Caucasian
40% Hispanic
17% African-American
California, Arizona CS Exercise, cut back on food, eaten less sweets or fatty foods Skipping meals, fasting Vomiting, diet pills, laxatives
Stevens et al. (1999) [41] 304 4th grade 54 12 (P) 100% Native-American Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota CS Exercise, change what/how ate Skipping meals, fasting N/A
Story et al. (1994) [47] 13,454 7th to 12th grade N/A 31 (P) 100% Native-American South Dakota, New Mexico, Alaska, Minnesota, Montana, Tennessee, Utah, Arizona CS N/A N/A Vomiting, diet pills, laxatives, diuretics
Story et al. (2001) [21] 1441 2nd to 3rd grade 48 42 (M) 100% Native-American Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota CS Exercise, changed what/how much ate Skipping meals, fasting N/A
Yost et al. (2010) [38] 1040 Females aged 13–18 100 15.5% overweight, 11.8% obese (as per BMI percentile) 69% Caucasian
19% African-American
2% Native-American
3% Asian-American
12% Hispanic
USA†† CS Exercise N/A N/A
Zullig et al. (2006) [42] 4175 9th to 12th grade 54 54 (P) 54% Caucasian
46% African-American
South Carolina CS N/A Fasting Vomiting or laxatives, diet pills
  1. Note: Sample reported here in terms found in the original article. Ethnicity reported here in the order found in the original article. aOW/OB overweight/obese, bM Measured OV/OB, cCS Cross-sectional, dL Longitudinal; eP self-perception OV/OB, fIn this study, students were assessed at three time points (1984, 1989 and 1992). Results from the most recent wave of the study (1992) are presented in this review. Nationally representative sample: Add Health Wave I; ††Nationally representative sample: Add Health Wave I and II; Nationally representative sample: Youth Risk Behavior Survey