Purpose: We examine age- and sex-specific associations between weight status and intensity of cigarette smoking in a large sample of adolescents. Additionally, we test whether quality of life (QOL) and weight control behaviors (i.e.; trying to lose, gain, or stay the same weight) mediate the association. Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the 2010 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey collected in grades 8, 10, and 12 (n = 11,222). Multinomial logistic regression was used to model cigarette smoking (none, light, frequent) as a function of weight status, weight control behaviors, and QOL by sex and age. Indirect effects of presumed mediators were assessed using the product of coefficients approach. Results: Weight status was not associated with smoking. Trying to stay the same weight was associated with lower odds of light smoking for younger girls (OR = 0.25; 95 % CI = 0.08, 0.84), whereas trying to lose weight was associated with higher odds of light smoking for older girls (OR = 1.73; 95 % CI = 1.11, 2.70). Low QOL was associated with higher odds of light and frequent smoking for both girls and boys (P < 0.001). The mediation effects of weight control behavior and QOL combined were significant in the associations between body mass index percentile and smoking among older girls. Conclusion: Targeted interventions designed to promote QOL and healthy weight control behaviors among youth may help to decrease the prevalence of smoking.
- Quality of life
- Weight control behavior
- Weight status
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health