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Marijuana Use and Obesity are not Linked, Says Study

Smoking girl

A new French study reveals that marijuana smokers are much less likely to put on weight compared to non-users. The researchers surveyed greater than 50,000 Americans and found that about 14 to 17% of regular pot users were obese. In comparison, 22 to 25% of non-users were obese.

Two Surveys
The researchers were surprised by this finding. They surmise that there may be a component in marijuana that helps users lose weight. This study has been reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology. It includes two surveys of American adults. One covered 43,000 American adults and the other around 9,300 respondents. Both surveys had been done by the National Institutes of Health in the US between 2001 to 2003.

Marijuana Use Becoming Popular in the US
In the larger survey, 14% of marijuana smokers reported to be obese, compared to 22% of non-users. In the smaller poll, 17% marijuana smokers admitted to being obese, much less than the 25% obese non-smokers. The surveys did not find out the exercise and diet habits of the marijuana smokers and non-users. Another recent US survey had found there were about 18 million marijuana users in the US in 2010, up from 15 million pot smokers in 2007.

Beware of Marijuana Dependence
Scientists say they are not surprised by the finding that regular marijuana smoking does not increase weight. But, they point out that the surveys do not reveal that smoking marijuana helps to lose weight. However, they feel these findings could be used as starting points for further research. Scientists also warn the public against using pot in their diet to lose weight. This will lead to marijuana dependence, they warn.

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