Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the association of cigarette smoking and weight concerns in adolescents, given that adolescents may begin smoking or have difficulty quitting because of their expectancies of the effects of smoking on body weight.
Methods: This study used data from a cross-sectional survey of 4523 Connecticut high school adolescents to assess the influence of gender, smoking intensity, and dietary-restrictive behavior on smoking-related weight concerns.
Results: Heavy smokers were significantly less likely to engage in healthy dietary restrictions than nonsmokers; however, light smokers did not differ from nonsmokers. Both light and heavy smokers were significantly more likely to engage in unhealthy dietary restriction when compared with nonsmokers. In the model that was used to examine smokers only, heavy smokers were significantly less likely to engage in healthy dietary restriction than light smokers, but smoking level was not associated with unhealthy dietary restrictions. Dietary restrictions are significantly associated with smoking-related weight concerns; however, this seems to be related to type of dietary-restrictive behavior, with greater weight concerns observed only in those smokers who engaged in unhealthy dietary restrictions and not in those who engaged in healthy dietary restrictions or no restrictions.
Conclusions: Although limited by its cross-sectional nature, the findings from this large, geographically diverse sample have clinical implications for smoking prevention and cessation interventions in adolescents.
- Accepted March 31, 2010.
- Copyright © 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics