Smoking Doesn’t Aid In Weight Loss But Increases Abdominal Fat, Study Shows

In Education

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen reveal that smoking contributes to increased abdominal fat development, contradicting the misconception that smoking aids in weight control.

Research from the NNF Center for Basic Metabolic Research suggests that both initiating smoking and long-term smoking may lead to an accumulation of abdominal fat, particularly visceral fat, which is associated with increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and dementia.

Smoking increases visceral fat deposition

Despite smokers often having lower overall body weights, they tend to have higher levels of abdominal fat, including visceral fat, which poses health risks even with a seemingly flat stomach. This study underscores the potential link between smoking and the rise of visceral fat deposition.

Researchers employed Mendelian randomization (MR), a statistical analysis method, to investigate the potential correlation between smoking and heightened abdominal fat. MR integrates findings from diverse genetic studies to ascertain causal links between an exposure (smoking) and an outcome (increased abdominal fat). The study amalgamated genetic data from European ancestry studies examining smoking exposure and body fat distribution indicators, such as waist-hip ratio and waist and hip circumferences.

Utilizing genetic studies, researchers identified genes associated with both smoking habits and body fat distribution. Researchers then investigated whether individuals with smoking-associated genes exhibit different fat distributions. Additional factors such as alcohol consumption and socioeconomic background were considered to confirm that the observed connections between smoking and fat distribution were not influenced by other variables.

Smoking linked to visceral fat increase rather than subcutaneous fat

According to Dr. Germán D. Carrasquilla, the study’s primary investigator, the research indicates that initiating smoking and continued smoking throughout one’s life may lead to a rise in abdominal fat, particularly visceral fat rather than subcutaneous fat, as evidenced by waist-to-hip ratio measurements.

The study employed genetic variations to minimize confounding variables, improving accuracy. Smoking’s impact on abdominal fat remained consistent despite other factors like socioeconomic status, alcohol use, ADHD, or risk propensity. The results underscore the significance of widespread initiatives to curb smoking, emphasizing its potential to diminish abdominal visceral fat and associated chronic illnesses.

Mobile Sliding Menu