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Smokers at risk of putting on weight


(Photo: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)
(Photo: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)

People who smoke are shown to consume an extra 200 calories a day as compared to those who do not smoke, a new study has revealed.

Smoking is typically associated with aiding weight loss. But a study involving almost 5,300 people have shown that although it curbs appetite, smokers are known to consume more unhealthy food, thereby increasing weight gain. It should also be noted that people who smoke are generally less concerned about living a healthier lifestyle. They pay less attention to what they eat and exercise less.

“Smokers had diets that were high in energy density, meaning they consumed smaller amounts of food containing a greater number of calories, the study’s co-author Dr Jacqueline Vernarelli from Fairfield University was quoted as saying by Mail Online. “Non-smokers consumed more food which contained fewer calories.”

The study was conducted by a team from Yale and Fairfield University in Connecticut where they compared the calorie intakes of daily smokers, non-daily smokers and non-smokers.

Vernarelli said: “We know from the literature that concerns about weight gain are barriers to quitting smoking, and we know that diets high in energy density are associated with higher body weight.

“Our results suggest that addressing the energy density in diets of current smokers may be a good target for interventions as part of a larger smoking cessation plan.”

Britain has put in place a ban on smoking in public places, and last year a report revealed that smoking rates across the country continue to drop. For instance, in 2016, 15.8 per cent of adults in the UK smoked, and this number is down from 17.2 percent in 2015, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, told The Guardian at the time that UK had the second-lowest smoking rate in Europe after Sweden.

“What is really fantastic news is that this steep decline is even greater among young adults (aged 18 to 24), where smoking has fallen by a staggering quarter since 2010, reversing a long trend,” he said.