|National surveys indicate that more than 50% of American adults want to lose weight, but it’s not surprising that women are dedicated to the cause much more than men — and according to a new study by the University of Chicago regarding smoking trends, women may actually be putting their health in jeopardy by refusing to quit simply because they don’t want to gain weight.Many women go to extreme measures to take the extra weight off, and they do so at an alarming rate compared to men. Women, for example, are more likely to get cosmetic surgical procedures — they make up 91% of all patients at cosmetic treatment offices, while men only make up a measly 9%.
It’s hardly a secret that women have a harder time quitting smoking than men do, causing health workers and marketers to tailor messages and resources toward strictly female audiences.
Recently, a University of Arizona research team created an Android pilot app called “See Me Smoke-Free,” which was created to give women some extra motivation to put down the cigarettes. The app comes with inspirational messages that remind women to prioritize their health over the numbers on the scale, and extra features like a daily “Money Saved” calculator reminders users that cigarettes don’t just take a toll on their health, but also their bank accounts.
However, many women still see smoking as an effective tool for weight loss, and this often negates any other anti-smoking messages that reference cost and long-term health.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a 2015 study of Illinois counties found a correlation between the counties with the highest obesity rates and those with the highest number of ex-smokers.
When cigarette prices were raised by 10% in the U.S. recently, 6% of women who believed that smoking did not help weight loss decided to attempt to quit, while there was no increase in the number of women attempting to quit if they believed that it would hinder weight loss.
Although smokers are likely to gain more weight after they quit, researchers still note that smoking won’t necessarily cause a person to lose weight, and developing positive coping habits can reduce a person’s risk for weigh gain after quitting. There are also other benefits such as better sleep patterns and feeling more rested.
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