Objectives. We examined whether socioeconomic inequalities in smoking and overweight and obesity emerged in early adulthood and the contribution of family background, adolescent smoking, and body mass index to socioeconomic inequalities. Methods. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health we employed multinomial regression analyses to estimate relative odds of heavy or light-to-moderate smoking to nonsmoking and of overweight or obesity to normal weight. Results. For smoking, we found inequalities by young adult socioeconomic position in both genders after controlling for family background and smoking during adolescence. However, family socioeconomic position was not strongly associated with smoking in early adulthood. For overweight and obesity, we found socioeconomic inequalities only among women both by young adult and family socioeconomic position after adjusting for birthweight, other family background, and body mass index during adolescence. Conclusions. Socioeconomic inequalities in smoking emerged in early adulthood according to socioeconomic position. Among women, inequalities in overweight or obesity were already evident by family socioeconomic position and strengthened by their own socioeconomic position. The relative importance of family background and current socioeconomic circumstances varied between smoking and overweight or obesity.
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