Illustration for article titled Obesity is less common in pot smokers

Here's a scientific finding you probably never saw coming: two studies that examined over 50,000 people between them have revealed that pot smokers — despite being prone to serious cases of the munchies — actually have a lower risk of obesity than people who pass on the grass.


The survey used body mass indices as a measure of obesity. The researchers then used survey participants' self-reported smoking habits to reveal that about a quarter of people who didn't smoke pot were obese. By comparison, only 16—17 percent of cannabis users were found to be overweight. In fact, obesity was found to be even less common among people who smoked pot more frequently.

According to MyHealthNewsDaily's Rachael Rettner:

The researchers said they were surprised by their initial results, because they expected to find the opposite. So they examined a second sample of people, and found exactly the same result.


Yann Le Strat, the psychiatrist at Louis Mourier Hospital in France who led the study, told MyHealthNewsDaily that the reason behind the link is not clear. He says one explanation could be that components of cannabis may simply help people lose weight.

He also proposed that people who smoke pot might engage in behaviors that lower their risk of becoming obese; that perhaps they exercise more, or maintain diets that keep them slimmer than their non-smoking peers. Though Le Strat has doubts about that whole "exercise" bit:

"On a personal point of view, I would be surprised that cannabis use is associated with a higher rate of physical activity, but this cannot be ruled out," he said.

The American Journal of Epidemilogy via MyHealthNewsDaily

Image by Stephen Orsillo/Shutterstock


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