For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death, and results in approximately 4600 lives lost each year. Body weight status and bullying is associated with increase mental health disorders.
We analyzed data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, consisting of 15,506 students in grades 9-12. Logistic regression analysis was performed using STATA13 to estimate the independent association of perceived weight status and bullying experienced at school and electronically to suicidal behaviors measured as-considered suicide, made a suicide plan, attempted suicide, and injurious suicide attempt, after controlling for socio-demographics.
Considered suicide and attempted suicide were significantly associated with very overweight, slightly overweight, very underweight, and slightly underweight weight perceptions. Made suicide plan was significantly associated with slightly and very overweight perceptions. Injurious suicide attempt was significantly associated with very underweight or very overweight perceptions. Bullying, at school and electronically was significantly associated with all suicidal behaviors.
Examination of not just body weight status but body weight perceptions held by adolescent students, and the experience of not just in-person bullying but also electronic bullying on youth suicidal behaviors is crucial.
© 2020 American School Health Association.