Smoking

The proportion of adolescent smokers rises with age and is between 8% and 20% with an average exposure, in older children, of around 40 cigarettes per week. Since the 1980s, smoking has decreased in adolescent boys but not in girls. Smokers tend to have different dietary habits from nonsmokers and this is reflected in their nutrient intakes. Studies have found that smokers consume less dairy foods, wholemeal bread, fruit and breakfast cereals, and more coffee, alcohol and chips. Smokers' diets tend to be lower in fiber, vitamin B1, and vitamin C compared with nonsmokers. In a study of 18 year olds, male smokers had higher percentage energy from fat and lower intakes of sugars and iron. Contrary to evidence from adult surveys, smoking has not been found to relate to body size in adolescents, although the opposite is believed to be true for teenage girls who use smoking as a misguided means to control energy intake. As would be expected, dietary restraint is more common amongst female smokers.

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