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Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Aug;124(8):1316-22. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1510138. Epub 2015 Dec 29.

Interactions between Diet and Exposure to Secondhand Smoke on the Prevalence of Childhood Obesity: Results from NHANES, 2007-2010.

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Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.



Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) may increase risk for obesity, but few studies have investigated the joint effects of exposure to SHS and diet.


We examined the interaction of exposure to SHS and diet on the prevalence of obesity among 6- to 19-year-olds who participated in the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.


We characterized exposure using a novel biomarker [4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL)], an established biomarker (cotinine), and self-report. Multinomial logistic regression models examined the association of SHS exposure on the prevalence of overweight and obesity as separate outcomes (compared with normal/underweight). Interaction by diet was assessed by introducing interaction terms (with SHS) of the individual nutrients [dietary fiber, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), vitamin C, and vitamin E] into separate models.


Approximately half of the children had NNAL and cotinine levels above the limit of detection, indicating exposure to SHS. Interaction results suggest that the prevalence of obesity among children with both high exposure to SHS and low levels of certain nutrients (dietary fiber, DHA, or EPA) is greater than would be expected due to the effects of the individual exposures alone. Little or no evidence suggesting more or less than additive or multiplicative interaction was observed for vitamin C or vitamin E. The association between SHS and obesity did not appear to be modified by dietary vitamin C or vitamin E.


Childhood obesity prevention strategies aimed at reducing SHS exposures and improving diets may exceed the expected benefits based on targeting either risk factor alone.


Moore BF, Clark ML, Bachand A, Reynolds SJ, Nelson TL, Peel JL. 2016. Interactions between diet and exposure to secondhand smoke on the prevalence of childhood obesity: results from NHANES, 2007-2010. Environ Health Perspect 124:1316-1322;

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