Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size

Teen Anger May Add Up to Extra Pounds

Overweight Kids Develop Unhealthy Ways of Dealing With Emotions, Says Researcher
WebMD Health News

March 5, 2004 -- From Rebel Without a Cause to The OC,teens have never had an easy time with anger management, but now a new study suggests that anger may "feed" teenage appetites and increase risk of obesity.

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston report that problems expressing anger set teens up for a lifetime of weight problems.

In a prepared statement, William H. Mueller, PhD, who is lead researcher of the study, says, "Overweight kids have poor health behaviors, including anger expression, which may lead to increased weight, especially in girls." The research was presented at the American Heart Association's 44th annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

The Link Between Anger and BMI

American Heart Association spokeswoman Julia Steinberger, MD, MS, associate professor of pediatric cardiology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, tells WebMD that the study is interesting but doubts it makes a strong enough case to suggest that anger management is the key to lifelong weight control.

"Just because they are finding an association doesn't mean that anger is the cause of the obesity. I don't mean to belittle the importance of psychological variables, but I have a hard time saying this [anger] is clearly what links cardiovascular disease and BMI." BMI, or body mass index, is an indicator of body fat.

The Texas researchers have been studying anger and teens since the mid-1990s when a small study suggested a link between obesity and anger.

Mueller and colleagues followed a group of 160 teens aged 14 to 17 for three years. Researchers measured BMI at the start of and during the study. The teenagers also completed an anger evaluation questionnaire to gauge anger levels, which measured "anger in," "anger out," "anger control," and "anger expression."

"Anger in" is not expressing feelings out of fear of what other people will think, Mueller says. "Anger out" is yelling, slamming doors, and other aggressive behaviors. The "anger control" score measured the level of maturity and healthy expression of feelings. The "anger expression" score factored in all of the scores -- increasing with higher "anger in" and "anger out" scores and decreasing with higher a "anger control" score.

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
gloved hand holding syringe
infant receiving injection

WebMD Special Sections