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Can J Public Health. 2001 Nov-Dec;92(6):428-32.

Smoking behaviour and dietary restraint in young adolescent women: the role of physical self-perceptions.

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University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.



To investigate the relationship among BMI, smoking consumption, dietary restraint, smoking to control weight, physical self-perception and self-esteem in young female adolescents.


702 grade 9 students (14-15 yrs old) completed self-reported validated measures in classroom settings.


26.7% of students had smoked in the last 30 days. Cigarette consumption was low with only 13% smoking one or more cigarettes a day. MANOVA revealed smokers had higher dietary restraint and lower perceptions of physical appearance, conditioning, and self-esteem. A similar pattern emerged for those girls classified as using smoking to control weight. Multiple regression found dietary restraint was predicted by higher BMI, and lower body appearance and self-esteem.


The data provided converging evidence that girls with low self-perceptions are more likely to engage in health-compromising behaviours. Smoking behaviours and dietary restraint were also linked. However, the small effect sizes for smoking behaviours warrants caution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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