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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Dec;49(12):904-14.

The diet and body weight of British teenage smokers at 16-17 years.

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Statistics, Operational Research and Probability Methods Research Group, University of North London, UK.



To examine the influence of teenage smoking habits on nutrient intake, food choice and body size.


Data was collected cross-sectionally: smoking habits were evaluated by questionnaire; heights and weights were measured and dietary intakes were quantitatively assessed via 4-day unweighed dietary diaries.


The subjects studied (n = 3430) were participants in the 1970 Longitudinal Birth Cohort, and were nationally distributed throughout Britain.


Male and female smokers consumed significantly (P < 0.005) more alcohol and less fibre, thiamin and vitamin C than occasional or never smokers. Male smokers also consumed significantly more fat when expressed as a percentage of energy intake, and significantly less non-milk extrinsic sugar (P < 0.01) and iron (P < 0.005) than occasional or never smokers. Regular and occasional female smokers consumed significantly (P < 0.005) less protein and calcium than never smokers, and regular smokers also reported lower intakes of zinc, selenium, riboflavin, carotene and folates (P < 0.005) and iodine (P < 0.01) than never or occasional smokers. Both male and female smokers were less likely to be consumers of puddings, biscuits and wholemeal bread, but were more likely (P < 0.005) to consume alcoholic beverages and coffee. Intakes of chips, alcoholic beverages and coffee were significantly (P < 0.005) higher among smokers and intakes of puddings, fruit, fruit juices and breakfast cereals lower. Regular female smokers also consumed significantly (P < 0.005) fewer vegetables. Smoking habit did not appear to be related to body size in this cohort.


The diets of teenage smokers, particularly teenage girls, appear to be significantly different to those of non-smokers, but smoking was not related to body size. Lower intakes of antioxidant nutrients, fruits, vegetables and cereals by teenage smokers are of particular concern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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