Saturday April 20, 2019

Dieting May Spike up Smoking, Binge Drinking in Teenaged Girls, Claims Study

The study, reported in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, included data from 3,300 high school girls

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Dieting May Spike up Smoking, Binge Drinking in Teenaged Girls, Claims Study
Dieting May Spike up Smoking, Binge Drinking in Teenaged Girls, Claims Study. Pixabay

While looking slim is in fashion amongst teenaged girls, intentional weight loss might increase the risk of developing health-compromising behaviour like smoking, binge drinking and skipping breakfast, warn researchers.

Teenaged dieters were 1.6 times more likely to smoke and skip breakfast, and 1.5 times more likely to smoke and engage in binge drinking than those who were not dieting.

“Post-puberty changes often lead to weight gain among girls and there is incredible pressure from social media and elsewhere to obtain and maintain the ideal body,” said lead author Amanda Raffoul from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

“Intentional weight loss is not something we should necessarily encourage, especially among this population, since it’s possible that well-meaning initiatives that promote dieting may be doing more harm than good.”

“Instead, we should focus on health broadly rather than weight as an indicator of health,” Raffoul added.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The study, reported in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, included data from 3,300 high school girls.

The results showed that compared to girls who were not dieting at the time of initial data collection, those who were dieting were more likely to engage in one or more clusters of other risky behaviours three years later.

“The link between dieting and other health-compromising behaviours is worrisome since 70 per cent of girls reported dieting at some point over the three years,” Raffoul added.

According to Sharon Kirkpatrick, Professor from the varsity, the study looks at the important health related factors “including behaviours and the array of influences on them, in combination”.

“Only by understanding the complex ways in which these factors interact can we identify effective interventions, as well as predict and monitor potential unintended effects of such interventions,” she added. (IANS)

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Kicking the Habit of Smoking Works Best in Pairs: Study

Lampridou noted that research is needed to confirm the findings in smokers who are otherwise healthy

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A person smoking cigarette, Pixabay

Is addiction not letting you quit smoking? Relax. A new study suggests that kicking the habit works best in pairs. The study, presented at EuroPrevent 2019, showed that couples who attempted to stop smoking together had a six-fold chance of success compared to patients who attempted it alone.

“Quitting smoking can be a lonely endeavour. People feel left out when they skip the smoke breaks at work or avoid social occasions. On top of that, there are nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Partners can distract each other from the cravings by going for a walk or to the cinema and encouraging replacement activities like eating healthy food or meditating when alone. Active support works best, rather than nagging,” said Magda Lampridou, Researcher from the Imperial College London in Britain.

For the study, the researchers evaluated the supporting role married or cohabiting partners might have in smoking cessation and enrolled 222 current smokers who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease or had suffered a heart attack.

Burning Cigarette. Wikimedia

The couples attended preventive cardiology programmes and during the 16-week programme, they were offered nicotine replacement therapy with patches and gum. In one programme, participants could choose the prescription drug, varenicline instead.

At the end of the programme, the findings revealed that 64 per cent of patients and 75 per cent of partners had quit smoking compared to none and 55 per cent in the beginning.

Also Read- Men Act Way Less Interested in Sex Than They Really Are, Suggests New Research

European Society of Cardiology (ESC) cardiovascular prevention guidelines advise against tobacco in any form and people who stop smoking generally halve their risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Lampridou noted that research is needed to confirm the findings in smokers who are otherwise healthy. (IANS)