Smoking tobacco to lose weight ? This bad habit would, on the contrary, make you “gain belly weight”, according to a study

Smoking tobacco to lose weight ? This bad habit would, on the contrary, make you “gain belly weight”, according to a study

Fumer ferait “prendre du ventre”

To avoid gaining weight. This is the excuse many smokers give for not quitting. But a Danish study has just shown that smoking can on the contrary increase abdominal and visceral fat.

As a general rule, smokers have a lower body weight than non-smokers. But according to researchers at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), they also have more abdominal fat and visceral fat.

What is visceral fat ?

This visceral fat is the fat located deep within the abdominal cavity. It surrounds important organs, such as the stomach, liver and intestines. It therefore differs from subcutaneous fat, located just under the skin. However, it is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and dementia.

By working on several studies concerning genes linked to smoking habits and the distribution of body fat, the authors observed that "smoking throughout one's life could lead to increased abdominal fat. In further analysis, we also found that the type of fat that is increasing is more likely visceral fat.

Another important element, "The influence of smoking on abdominal fat appears to occur independently of other factors such as socioeconomic status or alcohol consumption".

An "invisible"fat

The problem with visceral fat is that, unlike love handles, it is not visible and can cause serious complications. Thus, a person with a normal body mass index may well have a high level of visceral fat.

So how do you know if you have it. As Livi Health Centers points out on their site, "the most obvious indicator of excess visceral fat is a ‘ apple’, in which your waist appears wider than your thighs".

Measuring the waist-hip ratio (WHR) can also be effective. To calculate it, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the waist-hip ratio should not, to avoid complications, be greater than 0.85 for women and 0.90 for men.

The best way to lose visceral fat is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Clearly, by adopting a balanced diet, by practicing physical activity, and therefore… by stopping smoking!

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