Youth Marijuana & E-Cigarette Use & Obesity Prevention Guidelines

A study published in Preventive Medicine Reports (2021) examined the associations of exclusive and dual use of e-cigarettes and marijuana and the attainment of the “Let’s Go! 5–2-1–0” obesity prevention guidelines and perceptions of weight status among U.S. adolescents.

Data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a school-based nationally representative cross-sectional study, were analyzed (N = 12,578). 

The mnemonic, 5-2-1-0, represents four recommendations for healthy eating and physical activity each day: “eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables,” “limit of two hours or less of recreational screen time,” “engage in one hour or more of physical activity,” and “limit sugary drinks; drink more water and low fat milk.” 

Overall, about 1% of the sample met all the ‘5–2-1-0′ daily health guidelines. 

Compared to exclusive e-cigarette users, exclusive marijuana users were less likely to meet the screen time and physical activity recommendations.

Compared with dual users, exclusive marijuana users were more likely to perceive themselves as slightly/very overweight.

Compared to non-users, dual users were less likely to meet the sugar-sweetened beverages recommendation.

Adolescent current marijuana users and dual users were less likely to meet obesity prevention guidelines.

The researchers concluded that prevention efforts are needed to reduce e-cigarette and marijuana use and increase adherence to the youth obesity prevention (i.e., healthy behavior) guidelines.

This is yet another study indicating the need to integrate substance use prevention with chronic disease prevention within single programs to address multiple health risks common among American adolescents.

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