Addicted to tanning?

tanning bed interior

Can't stop?

A paper published today in the Archives of Dermatology reports that of 229 UAlbany students surveyed who were tanners, almost 40 percent could be considered to have an "addiction" to tanning.

The study was conducted by Sharon Danoff-Burg, an assistant professor at UAlbany, and Catherine E. Mosher, a research fellow at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. In 2006, they surveyed a pool of more than 400 students at UAlbany. [HealthDay] The students were evaluated for indoor tanning addiction using two measures -- a modified questionnaire that's usually used for screening for alcoholism and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria for substance-related disorders.

Danoff-Burg and Mosher report that of the 229 student who reported going to tanning salons, 39.3 percent met the DSM criteria and 30.6 the questionnaire criteria for addiction to indoor tanning (about 22 percent met the criteria for both screens). [Reuters] Of those scored as being tanning-addicted, 78 percent said they tried to cut down but couldn't. [LAT]

The authors write: "Further research should evaluate the usefulness of incorporating a brief anxiety and depression screening for individuals who tan indoors. Patients with anxiety or depression could be referred to mental health professionals for diagnosis and treatment."

A small study in 2004 reported that tanning appears to have mood-altering effects. And a 2006 study reported that it appeared that the younger a tanner started, the harder it was to quit.

Earlier on AOA: Dan Nester reported in the Daily Beast that there are more than 800 tanning salons in the greater Capital Region.

[via @UAlbanyNews]

* HealthDay reports it was UAlbany -- the study's abstract simply says it was "a large university (approximately 18 000 students) in the northeastern United States" (that's UAlbany's enrollment). We're checking to confirm. Yep, it was UAlbany. We confirmed it with the university.

photo: Flickr user Evil Erin


What a cool photo.

Oh, is that what it is? I just thought there was an Oompa Loompa convention in town.

How great a city leader Jerry Jennings must be that he's able to inspire so many students to adopt his tanning habits.

I could have been considered a tanorexic back in the 80s. I wish I could show some of these kids, particularly those with ultra-fair skin, what I have to show for it....wrinkles, sagging, mottled skin and a ton of age spots....and I'm lucky!

Excellent photo for the tanning entry!

I saw a woman walking down Lark street yesterday that made me do a double take. She looked brown. Like, really brown. It was weird. I wanted to ask her what she thought her face was going to look like in 20 years, but thought better of it.

I live on the edge of the *ahem* education district. A block away, on the corner of Ontario and Madison, are two tanning salons across the street from each other. And they've both been in business for at least two years. That says a lot.

A more interesting study would be how these tanning addicts do academically.

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