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Smoking in the age of obesity: an investigation of secular trends in body fat and cigarette smoking
Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Objectives: In recent decades, obesity reached epidemic proportions in western countries, while cigarette smoking decreased. Traditionally, smoking is associated with lower relative weight (body mass index, BMI) but high abdominal obesity (waist-hip ratio, WHR). However, several recent studies suggest that BMI is higher among today’s smokers compared with non-smokers. Therefore, the present study examined whether the relationship between smoking and each of the body measures, BMI and WHR, has changed over time.

Material and Methods: Data were collected from 5907 male and female residents of Gothenburg, Sweden, aged 25-65 years, and drawn randomly in four sequential cross-sections (1985, 1990, 1995, 2002) from the city’s population register. The study used general linear models to test trends over time, and adjusted all differences for age.

Results: The data reported here showed higher WHR in both male and female smokers compared with non-smokers. BMI was lower in female smokers compared with female non-smokers, but did not differ significantly between male smokers and male non-smokers. Among female participants, differences in WHR between smokers and non-smokers increased significantly throughout the study. Although male participants showed a similar tendency, the differences were not significant. Adjustment for educational level did not affect the results.

Conclusions: WHR was higher among smokers compared with non-smokers; this difference increased over time. Thus, concern for obesity does not provide a valid reason to continue smoking; on the contrary, it may be a reason to quit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 34 p.
Master of Public Health, MPH, ISSN 1104-5701 ; MPH 2011:1
Keyword [en]
Body Mass Index, Waist-Hip Ratio, Smoking
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3140OAI: diva2:721785
2011-02-18, Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Box 12133, 402 42 Göteborg, Sweden, 00:00 (English)

ISBN 978-91-86739-06-5

Available from: 2014-06-05 Created: 2014-06-05 Last updated: 2015-01-30Bibliographically approved

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