This site was initially developed for Workshop Houston's Summer 2012 Program as a component of the course "The Science of Nutrition".

Nutrition 102: "Current Issues in Health and Nutrition"

Common Myths about Eating Disorders:

1)  Eating disorders are not an illness.
2)  Eating disorders are uncommon.
3)  Eating disorders are a choice.
4)  Eating disorders occur only in females.
5)  Men who suffer from eating disorders tend to be gay.
6)  Anorexia nervosa is the only serious eating disorder.
7)  A person cannot die from bulimia.
8)  Subclinical eating disorders are not serious.
9)  Dieting is normal adolescent behavior.
10)Anorexia is "dieting gone bad".
11)A person with anorexia never eats at all.
12)You can tell if a person has an eating disorder simply by appearance.
13)Eating disorders are about appearance and beauty.
14)Eating disorders are caused by unhealthy and unrealistic images in the media.
15)Only people of high socioeconomic status get eating disorders.
16)Recovery from eating disorders is rare.
17)Eating disorders are an attempt to seek attention.
18)Purging is only throwing up.
19)Purging will help lose weight.
20)You're not sick until you're emaciated.
21)Kids under age 15 are too young to have an eating disorder.
22)You can't suffer from more than one eating disorder.
23)Achieving normal weight means the anorexia is cured.

Learn more about eating disorders from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at: or call the helpline at (800) 931-2237.

Most Commonly-Used Drugs Among 12th Graders


Underage Drinking

Alcohol use by persons under age 21 years is a major public health problem.1 Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs. Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States.2 More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.2 On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.3 In 2008, there were approximately 190,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.4

Drinking Levels among Youth

The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey5 found that among high school students, during the past 30 days
  • 42% drank some amount of alcohol.
  • 24% binge drank.
  • 10% drove after drinking alcohol.
  • 28% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
Other national surveys indicate
  • In 2008 the National Survey on Drug Use and HealthExternal Web Site Icon reported that 28% of youth aged 12 to 20 years drink alcohol and 19% reported binge drinking.6
  • In 2009, the Monitoring the Future SurveyExternal Web Site Icon reported that 37% of 8th graders and 72% of 12th graders had tried alcohol, and 15% of 8th graders and 44% of 12th graders drank during the past month.7

Consequences of Underage Drinking

Youth who drink alcohol1, 3, 8 are more likely to experience
  • School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
  • Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
  • Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
  • Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.
  • Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.
  • Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.
  • Physical and sexual assault.
  • Higher risk for suicide and homicide.
  • Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.
  • Memory problems.
  • Abuse of other drugs.
  • Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
  • Death from alcohol poisoning.
In general, the risk of youth experiencing these problems is greater for those who binge drink than for those who do not binge drink.8
Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years.9, 10

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