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Contrary to popular belief, smoking leads to weight gain, especially in the stomach area.

Another good reason to quit smoking. Danish researchers, in a study published in the journal Addiction, explain that cigarettes increase the amount of abdominal and visceral fat in smokers. This “invisible” fat around organs is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even stroke.

To come to this conclusion, scientists from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) analyzed data from two million people. They were particularly interested in genes associated with smoking and body fat distribution, eliminating certain factors that could influence the study’s results, such as alcohol consumption and socioeconomic status.

A flat stomach does not prevent the appearance of visceral fat

“Initiation or lifetime smoking may lead to increased abdominal fat as measured by waist-to-hip ratio measurements,” said lead study author Dr. Herman D. Carrasquilla. This type of fat that surrounds organs is found deeper than subcutaneous fat, just under the skin.

The tricky part is that a seemingly thin person with a flat stomach may actually have a large amount of visceral fat. Although belly fat is less visible, it produces inflammatory molecules that cause diabetes, high blood pressure and even some types of cancer.

Thanks to the nicotine they contain, cigarettes suppress appetite, which limits weight gain in smokers. But its perverse effect will therefore promote the accumulation of abdominal fat. Tobacco, the leading cause of preventable death in France, is responsible for 75,000 deaths each year.

Source: Le Parisien

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