Background: Weight gain
cessation reduces the incentive to quit, especially among women. Exercise and diet
interventions may reduce postcessation weight gain
, but their long-term effect has not been estimated in randomized trials.
We estimated the long-term reduction in postcessation weight gain
among women under smoking
cessation alone or combined with (1) moderate-to-vigorous exercise (15, 30, 45, 60 minutes/day), and (2) exercise and diet
modification (≤2 servings/week of unprocessed red meat; ≥5 servings/day of fruits and vegetables; minimal sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets and desserts, potato chips or fried potatoes, and processed red meat).
Among 10,087 eligible smokers in the Nurses’ Health Study and 9,271 in the Nurses’ Health Study II, the estimated 10-year mean weights under smoking
cessation were 75.0 (95% CI = 74.7, 75.5) kg and 79.0 (78.2, 79.6) kg, respectively. Pooling both cohorts, the estimated postcessation mean weight gain
was 4.9 (7.3, 2.6) kg lower under a hypothetical strategy of exercising at least 30 minutes/day and diet
modification, and 5.9 (8.0, 3.8) kg lower under exercising at least 60 minutes/day and diet
modification, compared with smoking
cessation without exercising.
In this study, substantial weight gain
occurred in women after smoking
cessation, but we estimate that exercise and dietary modifications could have averted most of it.