Prospective association between dieting and smoking initiation among adolescents

Mildred M. Maldonado-Molina, Kelli A. Komro, Guillermo Prado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose. To examine the relation between dieting and smoking initiation among adolescents. Design. Prospective data from a nationally representative study were used. Setting. Two waves (1994 to 1996) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Subjects. The sample included 7795 non-Latino Caucasian and non-Latino African-American adolescents. Measures. Dieting status was the independent variable and trying smoking and initiation of regular smoking were the dependent variables. Covariates included age, ethnicity, overweight status, false self-perception about being overweight, and availability of cigarettes at home. Analysis. Logistic regression and latent transition analyses were used. Results. Females had a higher prevalence of dieting (55 %) when compared with males (25 %). Dieting initiation was a significant predictor for initiation of regular smoking among females (OR = 1.94, p = .010), but not among males. Inactive dieting was a significant predictor among males (OR = 1.74, p = .031), but not among females. Compared to nondieters, initiating and consistent female dieters reported a higher probability of transitioning to having tried regular smoking, although results from logistic regression suggested that the association between consistent dieting and initiation of regular smoking was not significant. Conclusions. There is a positive relation between initiating dieting and initiating regular smoking among females, but among males it is the inactive dieters who show a positive relationship. Results illustrate the importance of examining the association between dieting and the initiation of regular smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Dieting
  • Gender
  • Longitudinal
  • Smoking initiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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