Dieting and smoking initiation in early adolescent girls and boys: a prospective study

Am J Public Health. 2001 Mar;91(3):446-50. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.3.446.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child
  • Diet, Reducing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*