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Girls Who Diet More Likely to Become Alcoholics

Update Date: Jul 31, 2014 05:06 PM EDT

Dieting at a young age could put women at risk of eating disorders and alcohol addiction, according to a new study.

After monitoring 1,340 students for 10 years, researchers from Florida State University girls and women of all ages feel like they're being pressured to stay thin.

The study also found that the age when women started dieting ranged from three to 26. However, the findings showed that those who started dieting at an earlier age were more likely to suffer long-term health conditions.

"Younger age of dieting predicts greater problems 10 years out from college," lead researcher Pamela Keel, a psychology professor at Florida State University, told CBS News.

Keel believes that this could be because "there is already something different" about females who start dieting at a young age in terms of their social environment or genes.

"The study demonstrates that, despite the evidence-based methods we now have available for weight loss, many college-aged women are still turning to fad diet methods rather than seek[ing] professional help," Dr. Holly Lofton of the Weight Management Program at NYU Langone Medical Center told CBS News. "One interesting fact is that, as obesity has increased over the last 20 years in young and older adults, this study found that the average age that women start dieting has decreased."

Eating disorders are often perpetuated by social, psychological and biological factors, according to researchers. The latest findings, presented at the meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, showed that these risk factors that contribute to extreme dieting can stay for life and prompt women to resort to unhealthy behaviors later in life, according to the Daily Mail.

Researchers said that latest findings suggest that deterring girls from dieting behaviors could help lower alcohol dependency, eating and weight problems later in life.

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