Smoking Cessation and Body Mass Index of Occupationally Active Men: The Israeli CORDIS Study

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Abstract

Objectives

This study estimated weight gain after smoking cessation and identified factors attenuating this gain.

Methods

We conducted a prospective follow-up of 1209 male factory workers for 2 to 4 years. The independent variables were smoking habits, age, sports activity, education, alcohol consumption, ethnicity, duration of follow-up, and body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) at entry. The dependent variable was increase in BMI during follow-up.

Results

The mean age-adjusted BMI at entry into the study was 26.6 kg/m2 among past smokers and 25.4 kg/m2 among current smokers. There were no differences in BMI between those who quit less than 3 years before entry and those who quit more than 6 years before entry. During follow-up, the average increase in BMI was 0.07 kg/m2 among never smokers, 0.19 kg/m2 among smokers who had stopped smoking before entry, 0.24 kg/m2 among current smokers, and 0.99 kg/m2 among those who stopped smoking after entry. Cessation of smoking after entry predicted an increased gain in BMI; older age, a higher BMI at entry, sports activity, and alcohol consumption attenuated this gain.

Conclusions

The increased rate of weight gain after smoking cessation is transient. However, the weight gained is retained for at least 6 years. (Am J Public Health. 1999;89:718-722)

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