Are diet and physical activity patterns related to cigarette smoking in adolescents? Findings from project EAT

Nicole I. Larson, Mary Story, Cheryl L. Perry, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Peter J. Hannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Introduction An inadequate diet and physical inactivity may compound the many deleterious effects of smoking on health. Some research indicates that smoking behavior is related to other health behaviors, but little research has examined how smoking may be related to dietary intake of key nutrients, consumption of fast food, sedentary lifestyle, or weight status. The purpose of this study was to describe smoking frequency among adolescents and its relationship to physical activity and dietary patterns. Methods The research study employed a cross-sectional, population-based design. Adolescents self-reported cigarette smoking, physical activity, and eating behaviors on the Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) survey and reported dietary intake on a food frequency questionnaire completed in school classrooms. The sample included 4746 middle school and high school students from Minneapolis-St. Paul public schools. Mixed-model regression, which was controlled for sex, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, grade level (middle school or high school), and school, was used to examine the association of smoking with diet and physical activity patterns. Results Overall, reported smoking frequency was inversely related to participating in team sports, eating regular meals, and consuming healthful foods and nutrients. Smoking frequency was directly related to frequency of fast-food and soft drink consumption. Conclusion Adolescents who smoke cigarettes may be less likely to engage in health-promoting lifestyle behaviors. Interventions are needed to prevent smoking and the unhealthy dietary practices and physical activity behaviors that may be associated with it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number53
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grant MCJ-270834 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Service Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Analyses were supported by grant T01-DP000112 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The content of the manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent official views of CDC.


Dive into the research topics of 'Are diet and physical activity patterns related to cigarette smoking in adolescents? Findings from project EAT'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this