Study Reveals Link Between Smoking and Belly Fat

Sat Mar 23 2024
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COPENHAGEN: A study conducted by researchers has found a concerning connection between smoking and the accumulation of visceral fat, highlighting the elevated risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes associated with this fat distribution. The findings serve as a stark warning to smokers, urging them to consider quitting cigarettes not only for their overall health but also for weight management.

Published in the journal Addiction, the study emphasizes the detrimental impact of visceral fat, which has been linked to serious health conditions such as dementia, stroke, and heart diseases. Despite persons not necessarily being overweight, the presence of significant amounts of visceral fat poses substantial health risks.

Conducted by a team from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, the study utilized Mendelian Randomisation (MR) to analyze the relationship between smoking, fat distribution, and associated health outcomes. Drawing from data spanning 1.2 million individuals who initiated smoking and over 450,000 lifelong smokers, the research also encompassed a cohort of more than 600,000 persons to assess body fat distribution.

The findings, as reported in Metro UK, indicate that both new smokers and lifelong smokers experience an increase in belly fat, as measured by the waist-to-hip ratio. Lead author Dr. Germán Carrasquilla emphasized the significance of these findings, stating that the influence of smoking on visceral fat appears to be independent of other factors such as socioeconomic status, alcohol use, or risk-taking behavior.

Dr. Carrasquilla emphasized the public health implications of the study’s findings, underscoring the importance of comprehensive efforts to prevent and reduce smoking within the general population. By addressing smoking cessation, there is potential to mitigate abdominal visceral fat accumulation and subsequently reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases associated with it.


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