The Smoking-Related Weight and Eating Episodes Test (SWEET): development and preliminary validation

Claire E. Adams, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, 236 Audubon Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.
Lauren E. Baillie
Amy L. Copeland


INTRODUCTION: Many smokers believe that smoking helps them to control their weight, and concerns about weight gain can interfere with smoking cessation. As researchers typically assess general weight concerns, a measure specific to smoking-related weight concerns is needed. METHODS: The Smoking-related Weight and Eating Episodes Test (SWEET) was created by generating items from 4 content domains: Hunger, Craving, Overeating, and Body Image. Female undergraduate smokers (N = 280) rated their postcessation weight gain concern and completed the SWEET, Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, Brief Smoking Consequences Questionnaire-Adult, Eating Attitudes Test (EAT)-26, Bulimia Test-Revised (BULIT-R), and Body Shape Questionnaire. RESULTS: Factor analysis of the initial items suggested a 4-factor solution, suggesting 4 subscales: Smoking to suppress appetite, smoking to prevent overeating, smoking to cope with body dissatisfaction, and withdrawal-related appetite increases. Based on these results, the SWEET subscales were revised and shortened. The resulting 10-item SWEET showed excellent internal consistency (total α = .94; mean α = .86) and evidence of validity by predicting smoking frequency, eating pathology, and body image concerns (ps < .05). Smoking frequency, eating pathology, and body image concerns were significantly predicted by the SWEET while controlling for existing measures of postcessation weight gain concern. CONCLUSIONS: The SWEET appears to be a reliable and valid measure of tendencies to smoke in response to body image concern and nicotine withdrawal and as a way to control appetite and overeating.