Yup, it may seem weird, but there has actually been a correlation found between these two habits that are characteristic of many college girls; constant dieting and smoking.
Although smoking rates have gone down in the U.S. (thank God because it’s absolutely disgusting in my opinion), a new study from the University of Florida reports that starting to diet somehow doubles the odds of a teenage girl starting to smoke as well. Although the study was done on girls slightly younger than college age, I think the findings are implicit of our generation too.
According to one of the researchers, “Dieting was a significant predictor of initiation of regular smoking among females…We were expecting that this relationship was going to be stronger among females. That has been well-documented, especially because (nicotine) can suppress your appetite.”
I would say that the appetite factor is one of the main reasons many college girls start smoking. I can name three people off the top of my head that were not smokers at the beginning of college and eventually became one of those stick thin girls pulling out a cigarette the second she gets out the door of any building.
The chain of events goes something like this:
1) Girl feels fat at college
2) Girl cuts back on eating
3) Girl starts losing weight
4) Girl gets compliments and attention due to her thinning figure
5) Girl freaks out about how she is going to maintain this weight loss
6) Girl realizes cigarettes suppress appetite
7) Girl, being disillusioned by lack of food, decides the weight loss benefits of smoking will outweigh all the other horrible hazards
8) POOF! Girl is now a smoker!
The study offered up some more interesting facts regarding dieting and smoking in females as well…
One of the researchers said that it’s possible that dieting itself makes people more vulnerable to smoking because animal studies have shown if creatures are extremely food-deprived, they will use more drugs.
Makes sense, right? Most people gain some sort of pleasure from satisfying their hunger, so if people can’t do that then they would try to get their satisfaction from another source, like drugs?
Okay, okay, I’m not saying that anyone who is hungry will become a druggie. But, I just don’t think it’s so far-fetched of an idea.
Moral of the story: Put down the cigarette and go eat a SANDWICH.