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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Science Finds Link Between Marijuana and Binge Eating

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 7:15 AM

click to enlarge Future stoner? - FUNNYJUNK.COM
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As far as epidemics go, childhood obesity may inspire more giggles than fear. But unlike SARS or swine flu, (remember that, when we were all gonna die?) it's no joke. Some 20 percent of kids today are fat.

Genetics plays a role, but diet and exercise -- or lack thereof -- are usually the twin culprits behind a youth XXXL-sized T-shirt. Scientists, however, have found another link -- a marijuana link. Though not in the way you might expect.

Researchers at Boston's Children Hospital have since 1996 been digging into binge eating and overeating by children and adolescents. Overeating, mind, is merely eating too much; binge eating is eating too much "and feeling a lack of control over the episode," according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Binge eaters, the researchers found, may be more likely to become drug -- but not alcohol -- users.

In results published this week, the researchers found that binge eating was associated with (surprise, surprise) obesity. "We further observed that any overeating, with or without loss of control, predicted the onset of marijuana and other drug use," said the researchers, who also found that their study respondents did not report increased binge drinking along with their binge eating.

As for what it is that causes someone to binge eat and then pack a bowl at a later age? The authors do not -- and perhaps can not -- say.

This study was paid for by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the same folks who found a link between marijuana use and decreased IQ over time.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Bio:
Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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