The increasing prevalence of adolescent obesity has led to consideration of the potential effect of obesity on risky sexual behaviors. In the current study we examined whether body mass index (BMI) was related to age at sexual debut, type of sexual behavior, partner number, and condom use in a population of adolescent women at high risk for obesity and risky sexual behaviors.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Cross-sectional examination of 860 sexually active, predominantly minority, adolescent women who received medical care at an urban health center from 2007 through 2013.
Intervention and Main Outcome Measures
Self-reported age at sexual debut, types of sexual intercourse, number of partners and condom use was compared with clinically assessed BMI.
BMI was positively associated with number of sexual partners (P = .001) and history of attempted anal intercourse (P = .002). An inverse association was observed with age at first anal intercourse (P = .040).
In this sample of adolescent women, increased BMI was associated with riskier sexual practices at a younger age. Results of this study suggest that overweight and obese adolescents are a vulnerable population who might need targeted sexual health counseling.
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Published online: June 06, 2015
The authors indicate no conflicts of interest.
© 2016 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.