Associations of Trying to Lose Weight, Weight Control Behaviors, and Current Cigarette Use Among US High School Students

Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 109 South Observatory Street, SPHI, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Journal of School Health (Impact Factor: 1.43). 09/2009; 79(8):355-60. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2009.00421.x
Source: PubMed


Approximately one-quarter of high school students currently use cigarettes. Previous research has suggested some youth use smoking as a method for losing weight. The purpose of this study was to describe the association of current cigarette use with specific healthy and unhealthy weight control practices among 9th-12th grade students in the United States.
Youth Risk Behavior Survey data (2005) were analyzed. Behaviors included current cigarette use, trying to lose weight, and current use of 2 healthy and 3 unhealthy behaviors to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight. Separate logistic regression models calculated adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for associations of current cigarette use with trying to lose weight (Model 1) and the 5 weight control behaviors, controlling for trying to lose weight (Model 2).
In Model 1, compared with students who were not trying to lose weight, students who were trying to lose weight had higher odds of current cigarette use (AOR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.15-1.49). In Model 2, the association of current cigarette use with the 2 healthy weight control behaviors was not statistically significant. Each of the 3 unhealthy weight control practices was significantly associated with current cigarette use, with AORs for each behavior approximately 2 times as high among those who engaged in the behavior, compared with those who did not.
Some students may smoke cigarettes as a method of weight control. Inclusion of smoking prevention messages into existing weight management interventions may be beneficial.

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