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Differences in Food Intake and Exercise by Smoking Status in Adolescents


Wilson, Diane B.; Smith, Brian N.; Speizer, Ilene S.; Bean, Melanie K.; Mitchell, Karen S.; Uguy, L. Samy; & Fries, Elizabeth A. (2005). Differences in Food Intake and Exercise by Smoking Status in Adolescents. Preventive Medicine, 40(6), 872-879.


Background: Smoking, diet, and lack of exercise are the top preventable causes of death in the United States. Some 23% of high school students currently smoke and many teens do not meet Healthy People 2010 standards for healthy eating or physical activity. This study examined the relationship between smoking and the consumption of fruit, vegetables, milk/dairy products and the frequency of exercise in 10,635 Virginia youth.
Methods: Survey data were collected from middle school (MS; n = 8022) and high school (HS; n = 2613) adolescents participating in youth tobacco prevention/cessation programs. Data were analyzed using chi-square bivariate tests and multivariate regression models.
Results: Smokers were significantly less likely than nonsmokers to exercise ?3× week and to consume ?1 serving/day of vegetables or milk/dairy products. This was more evident in high school than middle school students and in females compared to males. In both HS and MS, a dose–response relationship was detected with higher level smoking associated with lower frequency of eating specified food and exercise.
Conclusions: Smoking is associated with compromised intake of healthy food and exercise. To decrease incident cases of chronic disease later in life, new tailored, innovative interventions are needed that address multiple health behaviors in youth.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Preventive Medicine


Wilson, Diane B.
Smith, Brian N.
Speizer, Ilene S.
Bean, Melanie K.
Mitchell, Karen S.
Uguy, L. Samy
Fries, Elizabeth A.