University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Join us Online!

Contact Us via e-MailContact us

Find Us on Facebook Facebook

Follow UKHES on Twitter

School of Human
Environmental Sciences

102 Erikson Hall,
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
tel: (859) 257-3887

HomeDietetics and Human NutritionUndergraduateHuman NutritionUndergraduate Research in Human Nutrition2012-2013 Research Projects › How Frequently Students at the University of Kentucky Smoke or Use Tobacco and How Smoking Affects BMI of the Individual

2012-2013 Research Projects

Ryan Barr
How Frequently Students at the University of Kentucky Smoke or Use Tobacco and How Smoking Affects BMI of the Individual
Ryan Barr


  1. determine how frequently (excessively, daily, weekly, monthly, rarely)  students between the ages of 18-24 at UK use tobacco and the association with self-reported BMI through a multiple choice questionnaire,
  2. to determine if higher rates of smoking are related to lower rates of obesity.

I hypothesized that those who engage in tobacco use are more likely to be doing so in order to maintain their weight, and experience better weight management and weight loss.

In the past several years there have been increased rates of tobacco use and smoking among adolescents, specifically those of undergraduate universities. Along with increased rates, smoking is also believed to have effects on weight.

Data was collected from 57 college students (10 males, 47 female) ranging from 20-24 years old at the University of Kentucky. Self-reporting surveys were distributed randomly to students of different academic backgrounds. The survey recorded general information (age, gender, ethnicity, and year in college) while also recording the current and past weights, current and past tobacco use, types of tobacco use, reason for using, and whether or not they believe tobacco effects weight and how.

The data concluded that of the 36.84% who currently or in the past use tobacco the predominant reason for doing so was socially 80.95%. There was a significant association between perceived effect of tobacco use and the though effect (p=.001). While there was also a significant correlation between tobacco use and weight loss as well (p=.00101). Finally, correlations between tobacco use and frequency, type of tobacco and frequency, and tobacco use and reasons for use were found as well (r=.990,.946,.946, respectively).

The results suggest that college students do believe that tobacco use does affect the weight of an individual, and while not a predominant reason, tobacco use is shown to impact an individual’s weight. Further studies and research should examine the mechanisms that tobacco has on one’s diet as well as the degree to which different types impact diet and weight loss.

University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, An Equal Opportunity University
Copyright 2011, Questions/Comments - Last Updated: March 13 2013 14:51:04