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Regular Marijuana Smokers Thinner Than Nonusers

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Rates of obesity are about one-third lower in people who smoke marijuana at least three times a week compared with people who are not marijuana smokers, French researchers have found.

The researchers analyzed data from two large national surveys of Americans, which included a total of 52,000 people. In the first survey, they found 22 percent of people who did not smoke marijuana were obese, compared with 14 percent of people who smoked marijuana regularly. In the second survey, they found 25 percent of those who didn’t smoke marijuana were obese, compared with 17 percent of regular marijuana smokers, Time reports.

The article notes the study results do not prove marijuana smoking itself keeps a person’s weight down. Other factors could be responsible. For instance, some of the people in the survey might have been ill with cancer or AIDS, and smoked marijuana to stimulate their appetite. These patients are much less likely to be obese than the general population. Many studies have shown smoking marijuana increases appetite, at least in the short-term, making it an unlikely diet aid, the article adds.

The results are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Chris M
    Chris M / September 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    The published study contained over 50,000 people. As sample size increases, there is less need for controls to help scale the results of the sampling to the population at large.

    As a single case example, there is a candidate for President this year, former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, who runs triathalons and used to use medical marijuana. Next month he is riding his bike 458 miles in New Hampshire.

  2. Carol H / September 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    How good a study could it/they have been that didn’t control for cancer?

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