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Reality or an Urban Myth? Does Giving up Smoking Make You Fat?

Despite all the known dangers of smoking, many people, however, do not give up this deadly habit. And in many cases is because they are worried about the potential negative impact on their weight.

Weight gain is bad, sure, but smoking is the worst thing you can do to your body.

Anyway, here we are. This weight gain in smokers, after giving up cigarettes, is very real and not just an urban myth. Researchers at the State University of Pennsylvania found that weight gain among quitters is associated with the volume of cigarettes that they were previously smoking. In other words, “heavy” smokers literally become heavier.

To learn how personal factors can contribute to a weight gain of smokers after quitting, the researchers have analyzed data on more than 12.000 people, who participated in a survey for National Health and Nutrition.

Their research, published in the “International Journal of Obesity”, focuses on weight gain in smokers, those who have given up and non-smokers over a 10-year period. After 10 years, the average weight for all groups has increased.

“People tend to gain weight over time and everyone in the study has gained weight. Non-smokers have gained weight around 450 grams per year for 10 years”, says Susan Veldheer, a registered dietitian and a lead author of the study, in a press release.

For smokers with less than 15 cigarettes a day, there was no difference in weight compared to those who continued smoking. This is good news for light or moderate smokers, who are concerned about weight gain. This means that in the long term, quitting smoking has no big impact on their weight.

The results are not so good for heavy smokers. People who smoked more than 25 cigarettes per day, or had a body mass index of 30 or more before quitting, during the 10-year period, had significantly gained weight (the first 10, 4kg, the second 7.2kg).

Although this may seem like a lot of extra weight, it is important to remember: giving up is the only right decision for your health.




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