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Overweight, obese adolescents highly likely to experiment with cigarettes

06 Oct 2018

Adolescents with increased body mass index (BMI) tend to feel negatively about their appearance and bodies, and this negative perception may lead them to experiment with cigarettes, a study reports.

Researchers analysed longitudinal panel data from 1,023 middle school youth (mean age at enrolment, 12.5 years; 52 percent female; 24 percent of nonwhite ethnicity). They examined whether smoking initiation was concurrently and prospectively associated with self-reported BMI, and whether self-esteem for physical appearance (SEPA) mediated the effect of BMI on risk of early cigarette smoking.

Unadjusted Pearson correlations showed that BMI predicted smoking initiation concurrently and prospectively. In adjusted models, SEPA showed a mediating effect on the association between BMI and smoking initiation.

Specifically, lower SEPA significantly mediated the positive association between BMI and subsequent smoking (B, 0.10; 95 percent CI, 0.01–0.22).

The present data bring to the foreground an increased risk of experimentation with cigarettes in adolescents who are overweight or obese, who are more likely to have low self-esteem due to their appearance and bodies, researchers said.

Overall, the findings are of clinical importance, given that overweight or obese adolescents who begin smoking have disproportionate risk of negative health consequences because of the individual and interactive risks associated with both excess weight and smoking, they added.

Researchers recommended that healthcare providers discuss weight status with patients and parents, as well as suggest interventions to reduce associated health consequences of increased BMI in a way that is not stigmatizing or judgmental (eg, using neutral words in conversation and documentation) with the aim of avoiding any negative effects on SEPA.

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Most Read Articles
6 days ago
The choice between nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) or vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) for stroke prevention appears to be complex and largely heterogenous across different, countries, a new study has found.
Yesterday
Monotherapy with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate increases virologic response for up to 240 weeks in pretreated patients with hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) who are resistant to entecavir and/or adefovir, a new study has found.
Elvira Manzano, Yesterday
Long-term treatment with the interleukin-5 receptor alpha-directed cytolytic monoclonal antibody benralizumab led to long-term control of asthma, improvement in pulmonary function, and was safe in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma in the 2-year integrated analysis of the SIROCCO, CALIMA, and ZONDA pivotal studies plus the BORA extension study reported at ATS 2019.
Pearl Toh, 2 days ago
Emerging evidence is showing that the two major new classes of antidiabetic drugs — SGLT2* inhibitors and GLP-1** receptor agonists (RAs) — not only confer cardiovascular (CV) benefits to patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), they also delay the loss of kidney function among these patients, potentially providing nephrologists with an additional tool in their armamentarium for managing patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the future.