Bidirectional relationship between the body mass index and substance use in young men.

TitleBidirectional relationship between the body mass index and substance use in young men.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsN'Goran, AA, Studer, J, Deline, S, Henchoz, Y, Baggio, S, Mohler-Kuo, M, Daeppen, J-B, Gmel, G
JournalSubst Abus
Date Published2015 Mar 16

BACKGROUND: Obesity and substance use are major concern in young people. This study explored the bidirectional longitudinal relationships between the body mass index (BMI) of young men and their use of: 1) four classes of non-medical prescription drugs; 2) alcohol; 3) tobacco; and 4) cannabis.

METHODS: Baseline and follow-up data from the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors were used (n=5,007). A cross-lagged panel model, complemented by probit models as sensitivity analysis, was run to determine the bidirectional relationships between BMI and substance use. Alcohol was assessed using risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD); tobacco, using daily smoking; and cannabis, using hazardous cannabis use (defined as twice-weekly or more cannabis use). Non-medical prescription drugs use (NMPDU) included opioid analgesics, sedatives/sleeping pills, anxiolytics and stimulants.

RESULTS: Different associations were found between BMI and substance use. Only RSOD (β= -.053, p=.005) and NMPDU of anxiolytics (β=.040, p=.020) at baseline significantly predicted BMI at follow-up. Baseline RSOD predicted a lower BMI at follow-up while baseline NMPDU of anxiolytics predicted higher BMI at follow-up. Furthermore, BMI at baseline significantly predicted daily smoking (β=.050, p=.007) and hazardous cannabis use (β=.058, p=.030).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest different associations between BMI and the use of various substances by young men. However, only RSOD and NMPDU of anxiolytics predicted BMI, whereas BMI predicted daily smoking and hazardous cannabis use.

Alternate URL

Alternate JournalSubst Abus
Citation Key / SERVAL ID6169
Peer reviewRefereed
PubMed ID25774652


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