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Sunday 16th June 2019

Obesity higher among non-smokers

30th June 2011

New research has found a link between non-smoking women and obesity-related illnesses.


The study was carried out in Scotland and focussed on 8,000 women. It found that non-smoking woman were more likely to be obese and die of associated illnesses than those who smoke.

The women aged 45-64 were recruited to the Renfrew and Paisley study from 1972 to 1976 and of these, 40% had never smoked.

Researchers found 60% of non-smokers were overweight or obese compared with 40% of those who smoked and raised concerns that the extra weight acted as a major contributor to premature death.

However, they also warned that smoking was a greater risk to the women’s health than obesity.

The findings published in the British Medical Journal, said the highest rate of obesity among non-smokers was found in low income groups where almost 70% of women were overweight or obese.

Dr Laurence Gruer from NHS Health Scotland, who led the research said: “You can certainly assume that if you are obese, you are more likely to die of things like diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

“If you never smoke and you keep your weight within the reasonable limit then even if you earn below average income and live in a more disadvantaged area, you can still expect to live a long and healthy life.”

He said that the findings went against the idea that if you live in a poor neighbourhood or came from a working class background, then “your health will be worse, regardless.”


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