An Evaluation of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Cigarette Smoking Among Youth.
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INTRODUCTION: Research across the past 4 decades has supported a cross-sectional association between adult cigarette smoking and lower fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC), and emerging research suggests higher FVC may predict cessation. Among youth, findings are limited to a few cross-sectional studies with somewhat mixed results. Here we evaluated the FVC-smoking association among youth both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.
METHODS: We analyzed data from a subsample of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979: Child and Young Adult. The subsample included adolescents aged 14-18 years at baseline in the year 2004. Multivariable cross-sectional analyses assessed whether baseline FVC was associated with smoking frequency among ever-smokers (n = 578). Longitudinally, the study assessed whether baseline FVC predicted smoking progression among baseline never-smokers who tried a cigarette by 4-year follow-up (n = 388). Multivariable regression models adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, parental education, and health behavior orientation.
RESULTS: Cross-sectionally, youth who consumed fruit ≥2 times per day were 53% less likely (RR = 0.47; p < .05) than those who typically did not consume fruit to be in a higher smoking frequency category. Longitudinally, the fruit consumption and smoking association was not significant (RR = 0.61; p = .282). There were no significant associations observed between vegetable consumption and smoking.
CONCLUSIONS: Fruit consumption, but not vegetable consumption, was inversely associated with smoking frequency cross-sectionally but not longitudinally. Further research is needed to provide information on the consistency of the FVC-smoking relationship among youth and may help to elucidate possible explanatory mechanisms.