Friday February 22, 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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Excess Smoking Can Not Just Cause Cancer But Also Blindness

Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers.

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"Cigarette smoke consists of numerous compounds that are harmful, and it has been linked to a reduction in the thickness of layers in the brain, and to brain lesions, involving areas such as the frontal lobe, which plays a role in voluntary movement and control of thinking, and a decrease in activity in the area of the brain that processes vision," he said. Pixabay

While excessive smoking has been linked to various health issues, including heart disease and cancer, a new study has warned that smoking over 20 cigarettes a day can cause blindness.

The study from the Rutgers University noted that chronic tobacco smoking can have harmful effects on “spatial and colour vision”.

The findings, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, noted significant changes in the smokers’ red-green and blue-yellow colour vision. This suggests that consuming substances with neurotoxic chemicals, such as those in cigarettes, may cause overall colour vision loss.

Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers.

“Our results indicate excessive use of cigarettes, or chronic exposure to their compounds, affects visual discrimination, supporting the existence of overall deficits in visual processing with tobacco addiction,” said Steven Silverstein from the Rutgers’s Behavioral Health Care.

smoking
Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers. Pixabay

“Cigarette smoke consists of numerous compounds that are harmful, and it has been linked to a reduction in the thickness of layers in the brain, and to brain lesions, involving areas such as the frontal lobe, which plays a role in voluntary movement and control of thinking, and a decrease in activity in the area of the brain that processes vision,” he said.

For the study, the team looked at 71 healthy people who smoked less than 15 cigarettes in their entire lives and 63 people, who smoked over 20 cigarettes a day. The participants were in the 25-45 year age group.

Also Read: Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented: Is It A Good Option?

The study’s findings showed noticeable changes in the red-green and blue-yellow colour vision of the heavy smokers.

Previous studies had also pointed to long-term smoking as doubling the risk for age-related macular degeneration and as a factor causing lens yellowing and inflammation. (IANS)