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A representational image of a person holding a belly bat. A new study reveals smoking can cause an increase in belly fat. — Pexels
A representational image of a person holding a belly bat. A new study reveals smoking can cause an increase in belly fat. — Pexels

Researchers in their new study revealed a link between smoking and belly fat, which later on translates into diseases such as cardiovascular and diabetes, giving people a warning to quit cigarettes if they want to lose weight.

The study published in the journal Addiction underlined the visceral fat that causes dementia, stroke, and heart diseases. It revealed that lifetime smoking causes unhealthy fat to increase deep in the body.

People may not be heavyweight but can contain large amounts of visceral fat.

A team from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark conducted an assessment with the help of Mendelian Randomisation (MR) in which they analysed the fat distribution and relationship between exposure, smoking, and abdominal fat.

The study analysed the data of 1.2 million people who started smoking and more than 450,000 people who have been lifetime smokers. The study about body fat distribution included over 600,000 people.

According to the findings reported in Metro UK, those who started and those who have been smoking lifetime may see an increased belly fat, with the measurements of waist-to-hip ratio. 

Lead author Dr Germán Carrasquilla said: “The influence of smoking on belly fat seems to happen regardless of other factors such as socioeconomic status, alcohol use, ADHD, or how much of a risk-taker someone is.”

“From a public health point of view, these findings reinforce the importance of large-scale efforts to prevent and reduce smoking in the general population, as this may also help to reduce abdominal visceral fat and all the chronic diseases that are related to it,” added Dr Carrasquilla.

“Reducing one major health risk in the population will, indirectly, reduce another major health risk.”

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