A research has revealed that US teenagers who indulge in indoor tanning are more likely to take to unhealthy habits such as illegal drug use, smoking, binge drinking and unhealthy sexual activity.
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysed data of American high school students of 2009-11 national surveys. The study also found out that over the period the figure for girls had come down. In 2011, one in five high school girls took to indoor tanning.
"We also found that teens who tan indoors are likely to be very concerned about their appearance. That sometimes leads to positive behaviours, like engaging in sports and eating healthy foods. But it also leads to unhealthy behaviours, such as steroid use or extreme weight control," said study lead author Gery Guy Jr., also a health economist.
The report also says that men over 18 years old were more likely to tan than high school boys.
It was found that girls who were fond of tanning had more chance of using illicit drugs and take to multiple sexual partners. And in case of boys, the emphasis was more towards smoking, taking steroids without a prescription or attempting suicide. Compared to their non-tanning peers, both the categories were found more likely to have unsafe weight management habits.
Previous studies have said that skin cancer is associated with tanning and melanoma a serious version of skin cancer is increasing among teens.
The report was published online Wednesday in the journal JAMA Dermatology.