Submitter: David Gurwitz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sackler Faculty of Medicine
Published January 5, 2004
Samuel Klein elegantly points out that environmental, cultural, and lifestyle factors are the major driving forces behind the continued fattening of Americans (1). Another lifestyle factor that might contribute to the escalating overweight epidemic in the USA is the reduced incidence of smoking, and the increased rates of smoking cessation.
While its health benefits are unquestionable, smoking cessation has been clearly shown to be associated with weight gain (2,3). Indeed, nicotine itself is known to reduce food intake, and nicotinic agonists have been proposed as potential weight control agents (4). Clearly, more efforts are needed to educate those who quit smoking to increase their physical activity as the best remedy against the associated weight gain (5).
Conflicting interests: none
1.S. Klein. Fat land: how Americans became the fattest people in the world. J. Clin. Invest. 113, 2 (2004).
2.Flegal KM, Troiano RP, Pamuk ER, Kuczmarski RJ, Campbell SM. The influence of smoking cessation on the prevalence of overweight in the United States. N Engl J Med. 333:1165-1170 (1995).
3.Burke JP, Hazuda HP, Stern MP. Rising trend in obesity in Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites: is it due to cigarette smoking cessation? Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 24, 1689-1694 (2000).
4.D. Gurwitz. The therapeutic potential of nicotine and nicotinic agonists for weight control. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs 8, 747-760 (1999)
5.Kawachi I, Troisi RJ, Rotnitzky AG, Coakley EH, Colditz GA. Can physical activity minimize weight gain in women after smoking cessation? Am J Public Health. 86, 999-1004 (1996).