Not Prevent Weight Gain and Smokers Who Quit Gain More Weight
Although many young adults who smoke, especially young women, believe
that cigarettes can help them control or lose weight, a new study published
last week in the JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY found that
smoking does not prevent weight gain for people under the age of 30.
The study, led by researchers at the University of Memphis, followed
nearly 4,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 for seven years.
"There's no question that smoking cigarettes definitely did not help
younger people to lose weight. And smokers who do manage to quit gain more
weight after they stop smoking than people who've never smoked," said
Kenneth Ward, a psychologist at the University of Memphis and member of
the research team.
According to the study, African American women who quit smoking gained
an average of 28 pounds, the most weight of any other group, while African
Americans who never smoked gained 18 pounds during the seven years. Whites
who quit gained nearly 21 pounds, while whites who never smoked gained 11
pounds. Interestingly, whites who continued to smoke throughout the study
also gained 11 pounds.
The researchers suggest that smoking prevention and public health messages
should communicate that weight control is not a benefit of smoking, and
if it does occur it is minimal and may take years to accrue.
Source(s): WASHINGTON POST, [12/1/98] "Smoking To Stay Slim? Study Clouds The
Issue," Sandra Boodman, p. 7
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