Postmenopausal smokers now have one less excuse not to quit

July 11, 2018, The North American Menopause Society

Smokers give lots of reasons for not quitting smoking, with fear of weight gain ranking as one of the most favored, but a new study that followed smokers from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) confirms that even modest increases in physical activity can minimize weight gain in postmenopausal women after they have quit smoking. Results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

The findings appear in the article "Physical activity and after smoking cessation in postmenopausal women." This is the first known study to evaluate the relationship between physical activity and postcessation weight gain in . The study followed more than 4,700 baseline smokers from the WHI for 3 years, at which point it was determined that quitters gained an average of 7.7 pounds over those women who continued smoking. Quitters who undertook increased physical activity, defined as more than 15 metabolic equivalent task-hours per week, had the lowest weight gain of 5.6 pounds. Of these, women who were obese experienced the greatest benefit from physical activity compared with women of normal weight.

More promising is the finding that quitters who participated in little physical activity at baseline and then had higher physical activity at year 3 and also enrolled in a dietary modification intervention had nonsignificant weight gain compared with continuing smokers.

"Being active after quitting smoking was found to reduce weight gain regardless of the amount of before quitting," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. "Although the best results in limiting weight gain after quitting smoking were found in women who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, benefit was also found in less-intense activity, such as walking 90 minutes per week at three miles an hour. A smaller substudy suggests that adding dietary modifications also will help limit weight gain. Hope for those deciding to quit smoking—exercise more and watch food intake to limit ."

Explore further: Obese smokers tend to put on more weight after quitting

Related Stories

Obese smokers tend to put on more weight after quitting

September 7, 2015
(HealthDay)—Heavy smokers and those who are obese gain more weight after quitting smoking, a new study finds.

Heavy smokers and smokers who are obese gain more weight after quitting

August 13, 2015
For smokers, the number of cigarettes smoked per day and current body mass index are predictive of changes in weight after quitting smoking, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

Even with a little weight gain, quitting smoking is still healthier choice

November 18, 2014
(HealthDay)—Fear of unhealthy weight gain can be a factor holding smokers back from quitting the habit. But a new study finds that even if you do add a few pounds once you quit, your post-cigarette health is still much ...

Weight gain after quitting smoking higher than previously thought

July 10, 2012
Giving up smoking is associated with an average weight gain of 4-5 kg after 12 months, most of which occurs within the first three months of quitting, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Quitting smoking unlikely to cause long-term weight gain, research says

January 27, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Smokers wanting to kick the habit needn't be too worried about gaining a lot of weight after quitting, according to newly published University of Otago research.

Risk of weight gain deters some smokers from seeking treatment to quit

May 1, 2014
Smokers may avoid treatment to quit smoking if they previously gained weight while trying to quit, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

Recommended for you

Emotional abuse may be linked with menopause misery

November 19, 2018
Smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle have long been linked to heightened symptoms of menopause. Now, a study headed by UC San Francisco has identified another factor that may add to menopause torment: an emotionally ...

How AI could help veterinarians code their notes

November 19, 2018
A team led by scientists at the School of Medicine has developed an algorithm that can read the typed-out notes from veterinarians and predict specific diseases that the animal may have.

Bullying and violence at work increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

November 19, 2018
People who are bullied at work or experience violence at work are at higher risk of heart and brain blood vessel problems, including heart attacks and stroke, according to the largest prospective study to investigate the ...

A low-gluten, high-fiber diet may be healthier than gluten-free

November 16, 2018
When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fibre-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet, they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating. Researchers at University of Copenhagen show that this is due ...

Youth dating violence shaped by parents' conflict-handling views, study finds

November 16, 2018
Parents who talk to their children about nonviolent ways of resolving conflict may reduce children's likelihood of physically or psychologically abusing their dating partners later—even when parents give contradictory messages ...

Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do

November 15, 2018
Why do we like the bitter taste of coffee? Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By evolutionary logic, we should want to spit it out.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.