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Int J Eat Disord. 1998 Jul;24(1):53-64.

Weight gain after smoking cessation in women: the impact of dieting status.

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Psychology Department, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The fear of weight gain appears to be a barrier to quitting in some smokers, particularly in women. However, not all female smokers have the same concerns about weight, and not all quitters are equally susceptible to gaining weight after cessation. We hypothesized that among females, dieters, compared to nondieters, would report more weight gain after smoking cessation and would tend to smoke more for weight control purpose.


Undergraduate college students were surveyed to assess their smoking status, dieting status, postcessation weight gain, and their motivations to smoke.


Among former smokers, dieters reported considerably more weight gain than nondieters. Dieters were more likely to have started, and to have continued smoking in order to control their weight, and among current smokers, dieters reported having had shorter quit attempts.


The dieters/former smokers' comparatively high weight gain after smoking cessation is discussed in terms of possible changes in dietary intake, metabolic rate, and physical activity.

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