Smoking and Obesity May Be Linked


| 4 Comments

Smoking and obesity were two very interesting topics discussed in lecture.  They are both still very big health issues in the United States.  I was curious about if the two were related somehow so I browsed the Internet for an answer.  There are many studies linking the two but I came across a very interesting one from CBS news.  This study claimed that teenagers exposed to secondhand smoke were more susceptible to metabolic syndrome.

 

Metabolic syndrome is defined, CBS writes, "As having at least three of five characteristics: a big waist, high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats called triglycerides, low levels of good cholesterol, and evidence of insulin resistance, in which the body cannot efficiently use insulin."  All of these symptoms are a sure path to obesity. 

 

Out of the teens tested, only six percent had metabolic syndrome.  However, a shocking five percent of this six were exposed to secondhand smoke compared to only one percent that was not.  This is pretty compelling evidence that secondhand smoke could be inducing metabolic syndrome on non-smoking teens.

 

This is a very scary finding.  The obesity rate is growing at an exponential rate in the United States.  There are already a plethora of fast-food joints and unhealthy snacks that are pushing youngsters into an obese lifestyle.  To now figure out that smoking may be a contributing factor or confounding variable in the equation brings to light the need for new prevention tactics.  I think health departments should put out a bigger warning to the public that smoking can not only effect humanity's fragile lungs but also cause teens to develop obesity problems.

 

Works Sited:

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-204_162-713231.html?pageNum=2&tag=contentMain;contentBody

4 Comments

This all still seems like correlation to me. How does secondhand smoke affect obesity or metabolic syndrome? There could be lots of other factors that could affect obesity, and details of the experiment seem scarce. Maybe you could find out how they conducted the experiment and the lifestyles of these teens. Teens eat a lot in general so maybe there is a problem in dieting?

I agree with Eugene. This all seems pretty correlational - though still an interesting finding. However, I always thought that smoking had the opposite effect. I am not a smoker, but I do know some people who are. They say that smoking actually makes them lose weight, one of the benefits of smoking according to them. They say that smoking a cigarette curves their appetite and makes them eat less. Of course, against all of the negatives that come with smoking this really doesn't seem like a "benefit" to me.

I agree with the previous comments above me. This seems to be more of a correlation and not causation. I think that it is pretty easy to find a correlation between almost anything. For instance heres a study that shows the opposite effect; that smoking makes people thinner: http://www.npr.org/2011/06/09/137085989/the-skinny-on-smoking-why-nicotine-curbs-appetite. In this study, researchers found that the nicotine in cigarettes actually curbs appetite, therefore making people thinner, not increasing their weight. After reading the study you found, as well as the one I did, it seems like there are many arguments for whether or not smoking makes people thinner or fatter, and that each side has valid arguments.

That is so interesting that second hand smoke causes that effect. That is so interesting that it was five out of the six of the kids were in the presence of second hand smoke. Smoke either way is not healthy for anyone but the fact that others bad decisions are affecting poor children and youth is horrible. Something needs to be done to help everyone with this problem. Not only would it help cut down on the disease and obesity. It would help the atmosphere by cleaning up the pollution. I hope that because of this study some regulations are made to help keep the world healthy.

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