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Logo of jepicomhJournal of Epidemiology and Community HealthVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Epidemiol Community Health. 1991 December; 45(4): 270–272.
PMCID: PMC1059458

Relationship between diet and smoking--is the diet of smokers different?


STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to compare nutrient intakes of smokers, past smokers, and non-smokers. DESIGN--The study was cross sectional and compared nutrient intake by smoking status using data obtained from a concurrent study of diet. SETTING--The study took place in three towns in England: Ipswich, Wakefield, and Stoke on Trent. PARTICIPANTS--Food records were obtained from 1115 men and 1225 women aged 35 to 54 years, representing response rates of 84-86% in the three towns. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--Diet was assessed using a 24h food record in household measures. For both men and women vitamin C, total fibre, beta carotene, and vitamin E intakes were lowest in the current smokers and highest in the non-smokers with past smokers having intermediate values. Polyunsaturated/saturated fat ratio was lowest in the current smokers. Men who smoked had higher energy intakes than those who did not. The lower fat intakes of beta carotene, vitamin C, fibre, and polyunsaturated fat in the smokers was due to fewer smokers eating a whole range of foods including fruit, wholemeal bread, cereals, and polyunsaturated margarine. Current smokers had a lower body mass index than non-smokers or past smokers despite their higher energy intakes. CONCLUSIONS--Smokers have different nutrient and food intakes compared with past smokers or non-smokers.

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