With the beginning of pubescence period teenage boys and girls become more and more concerned about the way they look. The desire to look according to standards – slim and beautiful is much bigger at this period than during any other period of their lives. And as it was scientifically proven a long time ago, as a result of hormonal alterations the majority of teenagers put on some weight, and after that search for effective means to lose it.
Therefore, teenagers start looking for weight-control methods in various sources. Many are surfing the web, some are reading magazines, but the overwhelming majority of minors find out the advice regarding effective weight-control means from their teen friends. Thus, these young people begin giving up their meals and trying to replace the food with cigarette, thinking that they would become slim. However, smoking doesn’t contribute to loosing weight like they think, but it does burn some calories and kill the desire to eat.
According to the research accomplished by the University of Massachusetts held from March 1996 to September 1998 among 7,795 students of 7-12th grades. Those students who have already smoked before the beginning of survey and those who confessed of using several unhealthy means like vomiting, taking diet pills and renouncing from food in order to control their weight were excluded.
The results of this research indicated that the majority of students started smoking wishing to lose weight. Naturally, girls were two times more likely to start smoking in order to diet than boys, although the number of overweight boys was 10 per cent higher than that of girls at this age-range. Mary Thomas, communications manager at the American Lung Association of Massachusetts said that teenagers believed that nicotine contributed to increasing metabolic rate making that the critical factor in the decision to start smoking.
The fact that nicotine contributes to loosing weight has been the issue of debates for decades. It even made scientists divide into two major camps: with one camp stating that nicotine indeed increases the metabolic rate and the other group on the contrary saying that it is not true.
Several researches showed that with increase in metabolic rate due to smoking, smokers could get rid of around 200 extra calories every day more than non-smokers.
The second group of scientists stating that the idea of nicotine contribution to the weight loss is false are giving their arguments and making their own researches. Thus, the scientists cited as an example the study performed by the University of Tallahassee Medical Center in 2002 that examined the weight change of around 5,000 young people who smoked, gave up during the survey or never smoked who never smoked, were smoking and the ones who quitted during the research.
According to the results of that study, smoking represented a minimal impact on weight control, and especially on weight loss. On the contrary, researchers concluded that giving up smoking contributed to weight gain, since 49 per cent of respondents gained around 5 kilograms and 25 per cent got almost 10 kg.
Misty Johns, doctor in clinical psychology at the University of Memphis Medical School, commenting the results of aforementioned study said that after giving up smoking people gained weight simply because they began to eat more, in the desire to snack or chew something instead of smoking.