256332 Weight loss behaviors and body image as risk factors for cigarette use in college females

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Eric Soule, MPH , College of Public Health and Health Professions, Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Tracey E. Barnett, PhD , Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
While the initiation of cigarette use as a weight loss strategy has been studied in adolescent populations, there is a paucity of literature examining this weight loss strategy among college females who face unique pressures in the college environment to obtain an ideal body. To examine this population, a secondary analysis of data from the Spring 2008 National College Health Assessment-II survey was conducted to examine the relationship between cigarette use, body image, and dieting/weight loss in college undergraduate females. Initial tests of association on cigarette use with body image and weight loss variables were conducted to determine appropriate variables to include regression models. Logistic regression was then conducted to predict current cigarette smoker status as well as ever-use of cigarettes. Participants who reported engaging in unhealthy dieting behaviors were 2.4 times more likely to have ever smoked cigarettes (95% CI [2.05, 2.86]) and 2.3 times more likely to be current smokers (95% CI [1.89, 2.72]) compared to those who did not report engaging in unhealthy dieting behaviors. Specifically, white females had a higher odds of both ever cigarette use (OR=1.64, CI [1.47, 1.83]) and current cigarette use (OR=1.64, 95% CI [1.42, 1.89]). These findings indicate undergraduate females may view cigarette smoking as a potential behavior to aid in weight loss. In particular, college females with poor self-body image may be attracted to unhealthy dieting behaviors including smoking. Health professionals should include perceived body image and dieting behaviors when implementing cigarette smoking prevention and cessation efforts targeting this population.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List two weight loss behaviors which are risk factors for cigarette use in college females. Describe which ethnic groups are most at risk for cigarette use among college females. Compare the levels of risk associated with different body image perceptions and weight loss behaviors for cigarette use in college females.

Keywords: Tobacco, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I have my MPH and have done research on risky behaviors in college populations as a principal, co-principal investigator. I have presented my research in this area. My interests include improving the health of college populations, especially as it relates to addictive behaviors. I am currently a doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.