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Obese? Have higher risk of turning smoker!

WebDunia English 2018-05-17 15:47:00
Geneva: Bad news for bulky persons, as a new study has found that overweight people pose a higher risk of turning smokers! According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), increased body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and even waist circumference are associated with ''a higher risk of being a smoker, and with greater smoking intensity, measured by the number of cigarettes smoked per day''. IARC is a World Health Organisation (WHO) agency, mandated to conduct research on the causes of cancer and its prevention.

The study, published on Thursday in the British Medical Journal, and funded by the Cancer Research of UK, suggested that there was possibly a 'common biological basis for addictive behaviours, such as nicotine addiction and higher energy intake'. ''Based on genetic markers of obesity, the study allows us to better understand the complex relationship between obesity and important smoking habits,'' said Paul Brennan, a genetic epidemiology expert with IARC, and one of the authors of the study. Dr Brennan noted that in understanding the link better, it could also be useful as a tool in helping people to stop smoking - a habit that kills more than seven million people each year, according to WHO.

Smokers have a lower body weight on average than non-smokers, possibly due to reduced appetite, but that many gain weight after they stop smoking. ''However, among smokers, those who smoke more intensively, tend to weigh more,'' said IARC. IARC Director Christopher Wild said the ''prevention of smoking is key to reducing the global burden of cancer and other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes''. He added that obesity was among the most important preventable causes of those chronic illnesses. ''These new results provide intriguing insights into the potential benefits of jointly addressing these risk factors,'' Dr Wild noted. (UNI)