In conversations about the worrying obesity epidemic in the US, we’ve heard many theories as to the reasons our waistlines are ballooning. Whenever a marketer from the food industry is asked, a plethora of explanations are provided to show that junk food and beverages are not the main reason.
A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise are cited as the top causes.
Smoking, or rather quitting smoking, is also brought up as a reason for weight gain. Smokers and quitters will attest that when quitting, they are fidgety, to say the least, and as a result many turn to food for solace.
What you need to know:
Here’s what researchers from Harvard and the University of Michigan have to say:
“In the past 15 years, smoking rates have declined by 20 percent, but obesity rates have increased by 48 percent”
[the] study does not indicate that people are getting heavier because they are not smoking. The weight gain associated with quitting smoking is temporary and thus not significant enough to drive the rising trend in increased BMIs. Read more…
Another point to ponder – childhood obesity rates have soared in the past 3 decades as well. Did kids stop smoking too? Or perhaps it was the secondhand smoke they stopped inhaling when their parents quit?
Oops. Can’t blame your smokefree lifestyle for those extra pounds packed. But take a look at your pantry – are you stocking up on liquid candy? Savory snacks and candies? And how often do you eat at fast food joints?
Bottom line – No. Smoking cessation is not the cause of rampant obesity. Don’t quit one bad habit to start another.
What to do at the supermarket:
Folks, you know the drill – less processed foods, more fresh produce and whole grains, and skip the beverage aisle. If you smoke, quitting is important for your lungs and heart. It stinks less too. It will also free up lots of cash to buy healthy foods.