True and new answers to help overcome lifestyle health risk denial to prevent and overcome the three major lifestyle health risks: chronic psychological stress, nicotine smoking/addiction, chronic overweight in teenagers and adults
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Red Reality Capsule: One Crucial Antidote for Toxic Lifestyle Health Risk Denial
What did we get when organizations and individuals with political power and their allies tried and failed to solve Americaís 'tobacco smoking epidemic' and covered up their tragic mistake? Another deadly epidemic, obesity and chronic overweight, that injures, kills, and threatens many more adults and our children.
Even if you are for now unable to open your eyes to that fact, welcome to this opportunity to read the first politically incorrect explanation for why so many Americans and citizens of other countries are dangerously fat and still smoke cigarettes.
The 40-year 'big push' to keep people from smoking cigarettes was based on politically sanctioned greed rather than knowledge of the actual cause. That is nicotine addiction: essentially health risk denial that blocks the desire or motivation required to end using nicotine without equally harmful replacements along with the physical dependence on that highly addictive drug and some habitual behaviors.
The widespread toxic denial individuals and groups promote (with blaming) to take money from us endangers nearly everyone and especially children. Because of it, we unknowingly avoid learning enough about views different from theirs . . . no matter how valuable the new knowledge would be.
Fear that's fostered and we donít realize is present fuels that defensiveness. That unrealized anxiety makes us try hard to ignore even someone who loves our children enough to show that it is untrue what those groups and individuals say caused a major threat. Factors other than those they blame interacted to create our countryís overweight and obesity crisis. That reality is a hard but crucial pill to swallow.
What made it possible for something so different to be exposed? It took nearly four decades of specialized clinical experience Ė treating about 30,000 patients who had the necessary mix of serious health threats Ė to finally understand that interaction of unrecognized factors. It required writing books and articles (read, used and evaluated by patients and clinicians) to enable confidently stating this articleís politically incorrect views on what has happened, why it occurred, and what needs to be done.
Although they might seem unrelated, successfully stopping and preventing cigarette smoking, obesity and overweight depend on learning about a cover-up. Politically correct untruths shield unenlightened politicians, unqualified experts, and their money-motivated benefactors. Those untruths achieve that with the bogus blaming that enables piling on another major mess.
'I tell many huge lies that my allies and constituents accept as true.' Thatís how the villain in a film described the proof of his political power.
In another popular movie, a character named Morpheus explained, 'In my hands I hold two capsules . . . a blue capsule in one and a red in my other hand. If you take the blue one, youíll remain as you are now. You stay unaware of whatís really going on around you. If you choose the red capsule, your eyes will begin to open to a new reality: what you are certain is true about the world, isnít. Now, which do you want?'
What you are reading is a 'red reality capsule' and antidote for toxic denial. Donít choose to continue unless youíre prepared to at least squint at an exceedingly unusual view of the truth.
How might you and the people you care about benefit from your looking?
|Some of what you will find here:|
Lifestyle health risk denial has two phases. The first is doubting that some particular wellness related information or insight is true. The second does most of the damage and is doubting itís different or new. Doubting the insight or information is unique produces the honest but mistaken notion that itís insufficiently important to warrant full attention or interest.
When any light is exceptionally bright people have trouble opening their eyes. It is common to stay in denial . . . to have difficulty looking at a very new and different discovery. Because 'politically correct untruths' have attacked your confidence to foster stress and needless anxiety, youíll read enough to suspect my message and supporting evidence are real. Then youíll respond by thinking something such as, 'Okay, but this canít be all that new.' I promise it is shiny new, different, unique. You have never seen or heard anything substantially like it. You will be making real progress and showing youíre at or near the last part of this health risk denial. All you need to do is stubbornly continue looking and give your eyes time to adjust.
Blue capsule (politically correct) reality
|Specialists and agencies involved with 'health promotion' and 'lifestyle health risk prevention' tell you:|
It is not a coincidence that the major campaign to get people to stop smoking began not long before the big increase in overweight Americans. Forty years of the 'big push' that pressured nicotine addicted folks to quit fueled the dramatic (epidemic-like) increase in both adult and childhood overweight and obesity. It was not factors like eating more fast and junk foods.
No one would smoke if cigarettes didnít deliver the highly addictive drug, nicotine. Like all drug-addicted adults who arenít yet in recovery, smokers kid themselves (deny) when thinking they donít light-up primarily to get the nicotine. They fool themselves into believing they suck on cigarettes because 'itís a bad habit,' 'helps with stress,' they 'enjoy smoking' (as if that truly matters), and is 'something to do' with their hands. Smokers trick themselves into believing they can stop for good by cutting back on nicotine . . . for instance, use a so-called 'nicotine replacement' treatment like the nicotine chewing gum.
Please look. Would anyone who knows about addiction and recovery attempt to help someone hooked on heroin by selling him or her the drug and then urge him to gradually reduce how much heroin he sucks up his nose or smokes until he loses interest in injecting it? Of course not. Heroin users aren't addicted to sticking themselves with needles. So was it ever reasonable to expect smokers to be successful stopping for good by continuing to use nicotine but tapering off how much is ingested by changing how it's delivered? No way! By far the primary help offered smokers, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) treatments (gum, patch, etc.), do not and will not help with the underlying cause. Thinking that NRT products should or could help and even when counseling is added strongly says non smokers are in denial. After reading this article, please test yourself.
The underlying or root cause isnít now and never has been cigarettes, tobacco or smoking. It is nicotine addiction: health risk denial, a few learned behaviors, and physical dependence on the drug which after stopping produces withdrawal with craving. People easily mistake that craving for increased appetite or hunger; and it can take months to completely go away. Former and periodically trying-to-quit smokers self-medicate: learn to overeat, especially 'comfort' foods, and abuse alcohol. They unintentionally teach those unhealthy fattening behaviors - replacements for smoking nicotine - to children.
Yearly, an estimated one-third of smokers are trying to quit and many have stopped but just temporarily. Perhaps only three or four out of each one hundred of them stay stopped for a year. Studies that report reductions in the number of people who smoke mislead us because they include those temporary cessations.
It is an illusion that meaningful progress has been made toward permanently stopping smoking. Elected and appointed representatives and agency bureaucrats applied punitive measures and superficial treatments to stop people from smoking. They wanted money more than helpful ways to safely end smoking cigarettes. They took billions of dollars from at-risk and unhealthy adults and their families. They gave the money to their rich sponsors.
|Those revenues and profits came from|
The significant campaign or 'big push' to get smokers to quit did 'accomplish' more. We now have the added misery and considerable costs of an overweight and obesity 'epidemic' added to the continuing nicotine smoking 'epidemic.' And we have more alcohol abuse. Consequently, some health organizations benefit from having their existence further justified by another questionable substitution for legitimate epidemics that are already controlled.
|Five more factors subtly promote your not looking, denial:|
|1. Reputable authorities blame tobacco for chronic cigarette smoking. That accusation might be well-intended but is untrue. If tobacco is that essential cause of risking health, people wouldnít be able to substitute by smoking the leaves of tomato plants. (Tomato and other common vegetables make nicotine and can be smoked.) Distracting us by focusing our attention on a plant, instead of the cause, makes money for groups that sell other ways to deliver nicotine.|
|2. Although arguably they are the most qualified, few addiction clinicians help nicotine-addicted adults or help prevent teenage smoking. Such professionals realize the odds against involving smokers in the appropriate treatment and gaining pivotal support from influential groups so long as credibility is given to condemning a plant rather than the root cause. Health care clinicians who specialize in treating addiction not helping smokers supports the lie that says dependence isn't the root cause and promotes denial.|
|3. Most nicotine addicted adults have heard this politically correct fib based on a half-truth. 'Smokers who quit donít gain that much weight. It averages less than eight pounds.' On average and like all other humans who suffer with drug addiction, smokers quit and cut back several times before stopping. When unable to get their drug or enough of it, heroin addicts temporarily substitute with candy (sugar). Nicotine users do something similar. They stop or reduce smoking, have stress with cravings and overeat, add body weight, get discouraged, mistakenly blame their metabolisms and return full-tilt to smoking. They continue eating and drinking more and keep most or some of the unhealthy fat.|
|Later when they cutback or quit again they put on additional unhealthy pounds. Unsuccessful efforts to stop or permanently reduce smoking or staying quit promotes becoming overweight or heavier than before. Suggestions from peer reviewed studies (some listed at the end of this article) but primarily experience treating nicotine- addicted and overweight adults convince me itís the accumulation of excess pounds that does the damage.|
|4. Some experts point out that the French havenít gotten fat over the past 30 years and speculate itís because they eat less fast and junk foods and donít super-size portions. The obvious (when someone is looking) evidence shows otherwise. French folks continued to suck on cigarettes and just recently began their big push against smoking.|
|5. Groups and individuals spin (apply self-serving definitions to) terms such as 'will-power.' Of course, people regularly say they smoke or do what makes them overweight because of insufficient will-power. Spin specialists assert that someone using that word means heís making a clearly negative or moralistic judgement of himself and others. That assertion is false, untrue.|
|Many nicotine-addicted and overweight patients told me they didnít have will-power or enough of it. I asked what they meant. They rarely defined it in one of the hurtful ways some experts do. When the folks I asked said 'will-power,' they meant something closer to motivation, desire, dedication or discipline.|
|Why spin the meaning of will-power as negative? At least two reasons:|
|1. When experts put smokers in a negative light (they smoke because of something akin to sinfulness), it takes less effort to get us to go along with applying moneymaking measures (so-called sin taxes, for example) that punish or restrict smoking. It facilitates blaming rather than helping other adults and our children who are addicted to a drug, nicotine, and deserve compassion.|
|2. Giving an inaccurate spin to the word, will-power, smokers and overweight folks use when saying they need more motivation is a sneaky way to mislead by suggesting an absence of needed motivation isnít the major contributor. (Health risk denial hurts us by blocking strong enough motivation that lasts.) That spin discourages the belief many adults have that it's important to be and stay sufficiently motivated. Financial contributors to elected officials and to health care experts have an easier time selling their goods when those allies discredit the value adults assign to learning to take more personal responsibility (not blaming) in order to have greater self-control.|
|Politically powerful groups and their allies want people (the public) to feel less confident and to not look, pay attention. Consequently they blame themselves and each other for the results of mistakes made by their elected and appointed officials.|
Even if this author's politically incorrect perspective explains what happened to adults, how does it apply to the increase in childhood obesity and overweight? Most of us readily agree that the children of smokers are more likely to smoke. Why wouldn't the children of former and occasionally attempting-to-quit smokers who overeat and add bodyweight do the same?
We are told that increasing numbers of Americans are overweight and obese because there are more and cheaper junk and fast foods and much more advertising and particularly directed toward children. Also there are additional varieties of easy-to-get, high-calorie snacks, beverages and prepared meals along with more places to purchase them.
Ultimately, the way it works is that demand drives availability. Competition to meet the increased demand leads to reduced production costs and prices. There are more and cheaper fattening foods available because people want them. That increased demand results from attempts to self-medicate . . . satisfy the craving for nicotine from smoking cigarettes with food and drink.
It isn't that people want them because there are extra and cheaper junk and fast foods and places to buy them. Advertising doesnít create the need nearly so much as it influences which places and products people will use to satisfy themselves and their children. Kids get much of the exposure to marketing because they often influence their parentsí decisions about where and what to eat and drink.
Practically anyone middle aged and older knows that fast foods, junk foods and unhealthy beverages werenít discovered and only begun to be widely used during the past three decades. We all grew up with such convenience foods and drinks. One difference is that the junk we older folks ate and drank during childhood had more calories than much of what's sold today.
Specialists accuse, for instance, more recent advances in technology that discourage physical activity. People havenít so recently become 'couch potatoes' and disinclined to be physically active. Many of us didn't begin to do serious and regular exercising until 20 or 30 years ago. Have there ever been as many gyms, exercise programs, and devices as we have now? More people than perhaps ever before walk or jog for exercise. When we seniors were children, if we saw a grownup running, we looked to see which neighborís dog was chasing him. If a neighbor was out walking, he was going to a local curb market or gas station for a candy bar and sugar-loaded soda.
Accusing food and inactivity indirectly blames us and our fellow citizens for adding excess fat. They do that when erroneously asserting, 'Americans made themselves overweight and obese by choosing to overeat and to be inactive.'
Addiction along with obvious and subtle blaming block our ability to make healthy choices. Dependency and fault-finding hurtfully influence our confidence and sufficiently strong desire (motivation) required to safely become lean enough or to stay that way. The basic idea behind blaming Ė whether accusing the availability of junk and fast foods, large portions served, lifestyle choices, maternal employment, technological advances, or heredity Ė is that learning accurate perspectives regarding personal responsibility and about motivation are not important.
Politicians and their bureaucrats who love blaming tell us that the health and wellness 'police' who warn, restrict, push, and punish have our best interest at heart. We must accept their expensive protection provided through our paying additional taxes. They arenít in it for the money. The money they take or mislead us into giving to their wealthy friends goes to worthwhile programs or causes that significantly benefit the public. Often that's untrue. We see that clearly when we pay attention to reports about how taxes and other public funds are redirected and spent wastefully.
Why would our representatives, corporate and agency bureaucrats along with specialists in health, litigation, media, and economics blame factors such as the increased availability and consumption of fast foods and junk foods for the overweight and obesity crisis rather than nicotine addiction symptom substitution? Why might they support coercive and unenlightened methods to stop smoking that do nothing truly helpful for teenagers and adults who are at-risk or already addicted to nicotine?
Blaming serves to cover-up the huge mistake of not addressing the root cause of smoking, drug addiction. Blaming allows another move to give away billions of dollars. By shifting the responsibility elsewhere, they cover the rears of their benefactors and their own huge mess while adding other sources of revenue. You see, the organizations and some of the same unqualified experts who put us and our children at greater risk by helping to enable the overweight and obesity 'epidemic' now want to take more money from us and the people who need and deserve our compassion. They intend to make and use additional harsh restrictions, lawsuits, and taxes.
This time those politicians and allies are going after obese Americans, restaurants, and food companies. That means theyíre also targeting the employees of those businesses and will do more serious harm to families and communities.
News and other media programing unwittingly contribute to the rear-end covering when they suggest we should trust groups that pay them millions of dollars for advertising and kidded the public about the effectiveness of earlier smoking cessation products. Advertising that suggests someone using a nicotine replacement therapy product can 'double' his or her 'chances of quitting' permanently probably means going from little chance to still little chance . . . but maybe doubled.
New stop-smoking products now being marketed and developed will do, news media and corporate representatives say, what the previous ones didnít and without so many dangerous side-effects. We dare not trust them again. Our friends and family members cannot afford for us to wait . . . hoping that this time what theyíre telling us is reality. It is exceedingly unlikely that the stuff theyíre wanting to peddle somehow overcomes the sound reasoning that says chronic smoking wonít be solved until we effectively deal with its essential cause: addiction to nicotine.
Well-intentioned personal physicians and other professionals offering popular stop-smoking programs usually arenít the addiction specialists cigarette smokers need to identify and engage. Understandably, those who offer popular products and programs focus on what they know: chronic illnesses associated with cigarette smoking.
The more someone focuses with adults on anxiety-promoting illnesses and threats, the more theyíre apt to continue smoking or relapse. Smokers have unintentionally taught themselves to smoke or light-up more often when anxious or frightened. Teenagers typically ignore such warnings. They care more about how well they smell to others and what they look like.
Contact any physician or smoking cessation program you might involve in a serious attempt to get and remain free of nicotine. Ask them, 'Do you ever suggest adding nicotine replacement therapy products such as nicotine patches, or even if you donít, is it okay with you if someone you help also uses a replacement? If they hedge or say 'yes,' at least consider asking them to please refer you to a person or program that helps with nicotine dependence and doesnít recommend replacements. If they donít, get someone in a library to help find a magazine read by substance abuse professionals or clinical addiction specialists. Chances are you can locate someone to refer you to an addiction specialist or find a program that advertises in the magazine.
Once you identify a potential resource, ask about adding NRT to what they offer. Then ask if something theyíve found effective is included to keep from replacing with food and alcohol.
NRT suggests NOT addictive and thatís a hurtful, unhelpful message to give. The exceedingly inaccurate subtle message someone gets from any suggestion that he or she use a replacement product is: 'Nicotine is NOT truly addictive. If it was, I wouldnít enable your using it. And I wouldn't encourage you to go for help to any person or program that doesnít discourage taking nicotine in some other way.'
Once dependent and that takes only a short time, total abstinence and permanently is what works. Tapering off doesnít. Knowledgeable folks clearly assert in AA, 'One drink makes one drunk.' Even one 'hit' of nicotine Ė no matter the delivery device or method Ė makes someone not yet in the recovery that's required for him or her to survive.
Helpful and otherwise talk about smoking
'It will help to talk to children and grownups about the dangers of smoking and not starting or quitting cigarettes,' is another of numerous untruths that foster health risk denial. Ask anyone you know who is a longtime smoker this question, 'Are you likely to smoke less or do you probably smoke more the more you think and get after yourself about not quitting or people come across as lecturing you about not stopping?' She or he will tell you she smokes more Ė not less.
There is something odd about addiction to nicotine hardly anyone realizes: talking about it encourages continuing. Perhaps youíve noticed there are few twelve-step meetings for current and former smokers. Such meetings encourage talking about smoking and quitting. Understandably you might reason that cigarette companies provide a public service when they pay for ads that promote going to their Web sites for information about stopping and talking to children. I am convinced itís self-serving. They more likely know about the odd characteristic of nicotine addiction. Talking to youngsters in the ways cigarette companies suggest does the opposite of what concerned parents want: assist those companies to have their next generation of cigarette buyers.
Because essentially all current smoking cessation methods are superficial (donít helpfully address nicotine addiction) and so donít work, people who stop smoke-puffing will start again. Periodically quitting leads to smoking more. That is part of the reason, I believe, some tobacco companies urge nicotine addicted folks to stop. They have realized theyíll ultimately sell more cigarettes.
What did we get when people with political power and their allies tried to deal with Americaís 'tobacco smoking epidemic' without knowing and addressing the basic cause and hid their mistake? We got another deadly 'epidemic' piled on that also risks our and our childrenís health and picks everyoneís pockets. Unless we care enough to alert others so they can begin to open their eyes to this reality, politically correct lies will enable an even bigger mess.
Big mistakes that create major messes can be made valuable lessons learned. In this case, please donít stand by as an elected official or anyone else applies superficial remedies to try and resolve public health threats that have internal, inside people, origins. We will sufficiently overcome the widespread false notions that create what truly causes nicotine smoking and overweight or we and our children will continue to suffer for it.
Those folks who helped make the mistake that enabled the dramatic (epidemic-like) increase in unhealthy obesity and overweight will claim otherwise. Still, exposing this link between superficial and pressured methods to stop smoking and increased overweight and alcohol abuse does not promote smoking. It does the opposite. For adults, teenagers, and children who don't want to become overweight or fatter, itís yet another reason to avoid starting or returning to cigarettes.
Remember that teenagers tend to think they'll live forever and 'bad things' always happen to other people. Teens more likely care about what they look like and whether or not they stink. With the stronger confidence that comes from having more facts, we can say to our children and grandchildren, 'I know you donít want to become fat. Thatís a good reason for you to avoid sucking on stinky butts. Starting with just an occasional butt-smelly sucker can make you terribly fat.' A few grownups might say they canít use the word Ďbuttí with children. For the sake of those kids and teens, they need to get over such hang-ups.
What if a youngster or perhaps a friend you care about asks, 'Why did you call smoking sucking on stinky butts and describe cigarettes as butt-smelly suckers?' Explain that it makes (would make) her or him smell something like an actual rear end.
Such explanations donít make using nicotine seem somehow glamorous or grown-up the way some advertisements do. Still, identifying smoking as sucking on stinky butts or cigarettes as butt-smelly suckers can be one important part of this crucial red reality capsule.
Clove with saying 'this helps' and special breathing relieves nicotine craving and stress:
healthfully deals with smoking and excess eating.
For 30-plus years I have recommended holding, wetting, and sucking on the stem of the spice clove to approximately 17,000 cigarette smokers, nicotine patch users, and tobacco chewers. Doing it can quickly help stop craving nicotine and the false appetite created.
Whole clove is a common spice sold in grocery stores. Humans have for hundreds of years sucked on them as a breath freshener. Some noticed doing that made it easier to avoid smoking and overeating. Clove has in it a safe (still check with a physician) substance that with some practice sufficiently eases wanting nicotine.
About as often as someone lit-up and smelled butts before he or she takes out a whole clove and as he does he repeatedly says to himself, 'This helps. This helps. This helps.' He doesn't need to say it every time, aloud or be sure exactly what's meant by saying 'this helps.' It still works and powerfully.
He uses, for at least the first three weeks, the whole cloves at those times and much as he did when sucking (inhaling) smoke from butts. He holds them in his fingers most of the time. Repeatedly and at approximately the same pace he put butts to his mouth before he puts the clove there, wets the stem, and sucks it a little before taking it away. He keeps the cloves where he kept smelly butts and uses about as many daily as cigarettes previously smoked.
Often when she or he puts a clove to her mouth to wet and suck a little on the stem she takes at least two consecutive breaths in a special way. She breathes iN mostly through her Nose and does it to a slow count of five. . . but counts backward, 'five ... four ... three ... two ... one.' She holds each consecutive breath just a moment and then breathes OUT mostly through her mOUTh to another slow five-count. Again, she does a countdown from five to one.
With enough practice for a couple of days the combination of saying 'this helps,' spice tasting, and special breathing becomes a safe, satisfying, non-fattening, and temporary alternative.
Alcohol and coffee temporarily increase subtle nicotine craving. So I recommend being sure to use the cloves when drinking alcohol or coffee.
Some people have essentially said, 'That's right much effort using the cloves that way. Besides, wouldn't that look kinda silly?' I respectfully answer with, 'It is less effort than smoking was, and that was hurting you. Using the clove is temporary and you look far less unusual than when you did the deadly dope, nicotine.' Folks have asked, 'What if someone wants to know why I'm holding and tasting cloves?' I suggested they tell the truth: 'If someone inquires, tell him that clove is an inexpensive breath freshener.'
Also important, a piece of clove can be chewed into some sugarless gum at those times she or he snacked or overate before. Between meals is a popular time to chew sugarless gum with clove in it.
Foil emergency pack: I highly recommend putting two or three cloves in some foil and flatten it to slide in a wallet. So if months or years later someone finds himself tempted he can take a clove from the foil and use it along with 'this helps' and the special way of breathing.
Toxic denial - in non smokers as much as adults addicted to nicotine - that blocked motivation to provide and get the appropriate help, misapplied political power, greed, and a cover-up powerfully interacted to create a new global public health crisis: rampant childhood and adult obesity and overweight. Results from peer reviewed published research helped to confirm this author's clinical practice-based insights. The following list gives a sample.
Simmons D, McKenzie A, Eaton S, Cox N, Khan MA, Shaw J, Zimmet P. Choice and availability of takeaway and restaurant food is not related to the prevalence of adult obesity in rural communities in Australia. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2005 Jun;29(6):703-10.
The above is a particularly thoughtful investigation of that relationship. Previous and politically correct studies basically said, 'There is more overweight and obesity and more eating of fast food. Consequently, a meaningful part of the reason people are fat is they consume those foods.' The authors of this Australian study looked to see if that relationship existed. They found it didnít: Overweight isnít related to fast (takeaway) food consumption. The availability of fast food and other restaurants is unrelated to obesity.
Marques-Vidal P, Ruidavets JB, Amouyel P, Ducimetiere P, Arveiler D, Montaye M, Haas B, Bingham A, Ferrieres J. Change in cardiovascular risk factors in France, 1985-1997. Eur J Epidemiol. 2004;19(1):25-32.
The authors of this study reported that during the period 1985 to 1997 data suggested that the general population of adults in France didnít become more overweight. Somewhat fewer men were smoking at the end of the 12 years but more women were puffing on cigarettes.
Arnett DK, McGovern PG, Jacobs DR Jr, Shahar E, Duval S, Blackburn H, Luepker RV. Fifteen-year trends in cardiovascular risk factors (1980-1982 through 1995-1997): the Minnesota Heart Survey. Am J Epidemiol. 2002 Nov 15;156(10):929-35.
This study of U.S. adults covered essentially the same time period as the French research report described above. The authors found that while cigarette smoking had decreased significantly, excess bodyweight had increased significantly.
Marques-Vidal P, Ruidavets JB, Ferrieres J, Bingham A, Cambou JP. Cardiovascular risk factors trends in men from Haute-Garonne, 1985-87 and 1989-91. Results from the MONICA project, Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 1996 Jan;44(1):5-13.
Researchers found that among a group of middle-aged men in France that fewer of them were smoking and more of them were overweight at the end of a six-year study period (1985 to 1991).
Swinburn BA. The obesity epidemic in Australia: can public health interventions work? Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2003;12 Suppl:S7.
The obesity epidemic in Australia was recognized and written about since 1980. During the same time smoking cigarettes was substantially reduced . . . not with treatments but with strong policy and environmental restrictions. Thatís what this author (Lovelace) calls the 'big push': pressuring, instead of helping, nicotine addicted adults to stop.
Janzon E, Hedblad B, Berglund G, Engstrom G. Changes in blood pressure and body weight following smoking cessation in women. J Intern Med. 2004 Feb;255(2):266-72.
This study of Swedish women reported a 'highly significant' link between increased weight gain and quitting smoking.
Rasky E, Stronegger WJ, Freidl W. The relationship between bodyweight and patterns of smoking in women and men. Int J Epidemiol. 1996 Dec;25(6):1208-12.
Austrian researchers found significant results confirming an association between cigarette smoking and lower amounts of overweight in men and women. Heavier smoking* as well as stopping were significantly associated with higher relative bodyweight.
* Periodically quitting smoking leads to smoking more. I (Lovelace) have found that people who repeatedly stopped and started back smoking and continued to suck on cigarette butts added the most weight.
Shukla HC, Gupta PC, Mehta HC, Hebert JR. Descriptive epidemiology of body mass index of an urban adult population in western India. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2002 Nov;56(11):876-80.
This cross sectional representative study of 99,598 adults in Mumbai India found that age, level of education and nicotine use were linked to bodyweight. Smoking cigarettes, dipping and chewing nicotine were meaningfully associated with low bodyweight.
Richard Terry Lovelace, Ph.D., MSW (master of social work), ACSW, LCSW is in clinical practice with Winston Clinical Associates - Winston-Salem, North Carolina USA
Note: Dr. Lovelace is mostly retired from clinical social work practice and doesn't see new patients needing more than one or two sessions.
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