Smoking as a weight-control strategy among adolescent girls and young women

A reconsideration

Mimi Nichter, Mark Nichter, Nancy Vuckovic, Laura Tesler, Shelly Adrian, Cheryl Ritenbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many studies have reported that adolescent girls and young women smoke to control their weight. The majority of these studies are cross-sectional and report on correlational data from quantitative surveys. This article presents data from ethnographic interviews with 60 smokers, interviewed in high school and in follow-up interviews at age 21. Contrary to previous research, this study found little evidence for the sustained use of smoking as a weight-control strategy. In high school, smokers were no more likely than nonsmokers to be trying to lose weight. In the follow-up study, 85 percent of informants replied that they had never smoked as a way to control their weight. One-half of informants at age 21 believed that smoking as a weight-control strategy would be ineffective, while the other one-half had no idea whether it would work or not. Researchers need to exert caution in propagating the idea that smoking is commonly used as a conscious and sustained weight-control strategy among adolescent females and young women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-324
Number of pages20
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Volume18
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004

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Keywords

  • Adolescent females
  • Dieting
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Smoking as a weight-control strategy among adolescent girls and young women : A reconsideration. / Nichter, Mimi; Nichter, Mark; Vuckovic, Nancy; Tesler, Laura; Adrian, Shelly; Ritenbaugh, Cheryl.

In: Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 3, 09.2004, p. 305-324.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nichter, Mimi ; Nichter, Mark ; Vuckovic, Nancy ; Tesler, Laura ; Adrian, Shelly ; Ritenbaugh, Cheryl. / Smoking as a weight-control strategy among adolescent girls and young women : A reconsideration. In: Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 2004 ; Vol. 18, No. 3. pp. 305-324.
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