Smokers come up with many reasons to not abandon the bad habit, for fear of a significant set of excess weight. However, a new study by the Women’s HealthInitiative (WHI) confirms that even a moderate increase in physical activity can minimize weight gain in postmenopausal women after they quit smoking. The results are published online in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
The results are given in the article “Physical activity and weight gain after cessation of smoking in postmenopausal women.” This is the first known study that assesses the relationship between physical activity and weight gain after quitting cigarettes in postmenopausal women.
In this study, conducted over 3 years, 4,717 women who smoked participated. Of these, 1282 quit smoking, and 3435 – continued. Physical activity was assessed by self-report, then the amount of MET-hours per week was summed up (metabolic load equivalent – metabolicequivalenttask-indicator of the intensity of the load in accordance with the level of oxygen consumption).
The weight of the participants was measured at the first and third visits. After this, it was determined that women who quit smoking increased by an average of 7.7 pounds (about 3.5 kg) compared to those who continued to smoke.
With smoking cessation and an increased level of physical activity, which was more than 15 MET-hours a week, the lowest weight gain was found – 5.6 pounds (about 2.5 kg). Among them, women with obesity received the greatest benefit from physical activity (compared with women of normal weight).
The smallest weight gain among women who quit smoking was promoted by factors:
insignificant physical activity at the initial stage,
the increase in physical activity by the third year of the study,
changes in nutrition.
“Activity after quitting, as it turned out, reduces body weight gain, regardless of the level of physical activity that was before quitting,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS. – Although the best results in restricting weight gain after quitting were found in women who had a 150-minute moderate activity per week, the advantage also manifested itself in less intensive activities, for example, walking 90 minutes per week for three miles in hour [about 5 km / h]. A smaller, auxiliary study shows that additional diet modifications will also help limit weight gain. The hope for those who decide to quit smoking is to train more and watch the food intake in order to limit weight gain. “
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