(Cover) – EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Smokers may eat up to 200 calories more a day than those that are smoke free.

American researchers studied the data of 5,293 U.S. adults, and realised that while people who smoke choose to consume smaller portions, they still manage to up the number of calories they eat compared to non-smokers and former smokers.

Those that had never touched a cigarette typically took in 1.79 calories per gram of food, whereas the calorie intake of the sample smoking on a daily basis went up to 2.02 kcal/g. The results suggested that those who had smoked in the past still consumed more compared to those that had never adopted the habit (1.84kcal/g), but nevertheless displayed a dietary energy density that was significantly lower than current puffers.

In conclusion, the researchers believe that this suggests cigarette consumption to any degree may be linked to a poorer quality diet, though ironically many smokers fear that giving up could be the very thing to make them pile on the pounds.

“We know from the literature that concerns about weight gain are barriers to quitting smoking, and we know that diets high in energy density are associated with higher body weight,” said Dr. Jacqueline Vernarelli from Fairfield University, Connecticut. “Our results suggest that addressing the energy density in diets of current smokers may be a good target for interventions as part of a larger smoking cessation plan.”

The study also discovered that smokers included less fruit and vegetables in their diets, meaning they were likely to experience a lower vitamin C intake and could therefore be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The data analysed was based on what participants claimed they had eaten in the past 24 hours, so authors warned that this self-reporting may not be entirely accurate, this the relationship between diet and smoking is a link rather than cause and effect.

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