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Smoking and Weight Loss - Adolescents
Cigarettes and Weight Control in Teenagers
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Smoking & Weight Loss - Adolescents

Weight Loss Study Aim
To explore the relationship between smoking and dieting in a cross-sectional nationally representative sample of young adolescents.

Weight Loss Study Method
Smoking was assessed by serum cotinine concentrations in 1132 adolescents aged 12-18 years enrolled in the NHANES III study. Information on adolescents' weight loss attempts were obtained by questionnaire. Normal weight was defined as a body mass index (BMI) less than the 85th percentile for age and gender. Overweight was defined as a BMI equal to or greater than the 85th percentile for age and gender. Nutritional intake was assessed with a 24-hour recall and food frequency questionnaire.

Weight Loss Study Results
There was a two-fold increase in smoking among normal-weight adolescent girls who reported trying to lose weight (23.7 percent vs. 12.6 percent). In contrast, prevalence of smoking was similar among overweight adolescent girls who tried to lose weight compared to those who did not (15.8 percent vs. 14.1 percent). Similar trends were observed in boys. However, overweight boys who were trying to lose weight were less likely to smoke than overweight boys who were not trying to lose weight (9.8 percent vs. 24.5 percent). There were no differences in body weight, BMI, caloric intake or fat intake among smokers and non-smokers. However, smokers reported eating less fruit and vegetables compared to non-smokers, and were over five times more likely to drink alcohol compared to non-smokers.

Weight Loss Study Conclusion
Tobacco use is common among normal weight adolescents trying to lose weight. Tobacco use is also associated with a cluster of other unhealthy dietary practices in adolescents.

Source: International Journal of Obesity

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