A new study has suggested that overweight or obese teenagers are likelier to become regular smokers as compared to average weight teens.
The study based on based on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health showed a correlation between high body mass index (BMI( and cigarette smoking in young adulthood.
Lead author H Isabella Lanza, PhD, research associate with the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs in Los Angeles, said that young people smoked cigarettes for a variety of reasons.
Lanza said that for overweight or obese adolescents, the increased desire to improve social standing or fit in with others may also increase the probability of engaging in regular cigarette smoking.
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Christopher N Ochner, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, asserted that other studies evaluating a correlation between BMI and substance abuse had produced mixed results, but the size of the survey sample and the statistical processes used in this study suggested that the correlation between smoking and higher BMI may be clinically significant.
The study is published in American Journal of Health Behavior.