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Weight Status and Sexual Practices in Young Women

Is there a link to contraception use?

Obese adolescent women are less likely to use contraception, and are also less likely to use it consistently when compared with normal weight peers, according to a study of 900 adolescent women aged 18 to 19. The mean proportion of weeks in which adolescents reported sexual intercourse was 52% with no difference by weight status. Researchers found:

• Obese adolescents had a lower proportion of weeks where any contraception was used compared with normal weight adolescents (84% vs 91%) among weeks in which adolescents reported sexual activity.

• Obese adolescents had a lower proportion of weeks with consistent contraceptive use (68% vs 78%) and oral contraceptive pill use (27% vs 45%) compared with normal weight adolescents.

• All other relationships by weight status were not statistically significant.

Citation: Chang T, Davis MM, Kusunoki Y, Ela EJ, Hall KS, Barber JS. Sexual behavior and contraceptive use among 18- to 19-year-old adolescent women by weight status: A longitudinal analysis. J Pediatr. 2015;167:586-592.