Objectives: This analysis tested the relation between dieting frequency and risk of smoking initiation in a longitudinal sample of adolescents.
Methods: From 1995 to 1997, 1295 middle school girls and boys participated in a nutrition and physical activity intervention study. The prospective association between dieting frequency at baseline and smoking initiation 2 years later was tested.
Results: Compared with girls who reported no dieting at baseline, girls who dieted up to once per week had 2 times the adjusted odds of becoming smokers (odds ratio = 2.0; 95% confidence interval = 1.1, 3.5), and girls who dieted more often had 4 times the adjusted odds of becoming smokers (odds ratio = 3.9; 95% confidence interval = 1.5, 10.4).
Conclusions: Dieting among girls may exacerbate risk of initiating smoking, with increasing risk with greater dieting frequency.