Papers And Originals

Obesity and Smoking Habits

Br Med J 1971; 4 doi: (Published 02 October 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;4:10
  1. T. Khosla,
  2. C. R. Lowe


    A large-scale survey of steel workers in South Wales has shown a considerable difference between the body weights of smokers and of non-smokers. The difference increases with age so that men over 40 years who have never smoked are on average 13 lb (5·9 kg) heavier than smokers. Even so, smokers are about 15 lb (6·8 kg) heavier than the weight standard considered desirable by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, while non-smokers are nearly 30 lb (13·6 kg) heavier.

    About 20% of the men are attempting to give up the smoking habit. Ex-smokers who have given up smoking for more than eight years approach the body weight of men of the same age who have never smoked.

    Many reports have been published on the health consequences of smoking and of obesity. Because smoking and obesity are inversely related studies of the interrelation of these two health hazards and of their relative importance are needed.