Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Chronic dieting and the belief that smoking controls body weight in a biracial, population-based adolescent sample.
  1. R C Klesges,
  2. V E Elliott,
  3. L A Robinson
  1. University of Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence of weight concerns and smoking for body weight reasons as a function of race and gender. DESIGN: A questionnaire measuring a number of factors thought to be predictive of smoking was administered. SETTING: The Memphis (Tennessee) school system. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 6961 seventh-grade students (mean age 13 years). This population consisted of 80.8% black children, 16.5% white children, and 2.7% of other ethnic origins. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Weight concerns were assessed using items from a restraint scale. Students were questioned regarding their smoking status, beliefs that smoking controls body weight, and their own weight-control smoking behaviour. RESULTS: Dietary restraint interacted with race in that, whereas white girls scored the highest on dietary restraint, black boys scored higher on dietary restraint than white boys. Almost 40% of subjects at this school level believed that smoking controls their body weight. Of the regular smokers, 12% indicated they have smoked to control their weight, with white girls endorsing this belief significantly more than other respondents. CONCLUSIONS: The propensity to smoke for weight control reasons, previously described by other researchers among white females of college and high-school age, was also found among this sample of students of junior high school age.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.